Sir Ken fails to top the bill for National job
Northern Ireland Ireland's Sir Kenneth Branagh has been beaten to the post of next director of the National Theatre by Rufus Norris.
He will be the first former actor and non-Oxbridge graduate since Sir Laurence Olivier in the role.
The stage and film director (48), who has been hailed as "brave" and "adventurous", was one of several names, including hotly-tipped Belfast-born Sir Kenneth, in the running to succeed Sir Nicholas Hytner in 2015.
Rada-trained Norris said he wanted to bring "fresh energy" to the National and "extend the net wider" when it comes to recruiting talent to star on its stages.
Norris was associate director of the National for two years.
His other work has included collaborating with Damon Albarn on the opera Doctor Dee and bringing comic book character Tintin and Booker-prize winning novel Vernon God Little to the stage.