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Wednesday, 26 September, 2001, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Arts Council denies National job probe
National Theatre
Nicholas Hytner will succeed Trevor Nunn at the National
The Arts Council has denied it is to investigate Tuesday's appointment of Nicholas Hytner as the National Theatre's next director, following criticism of the selection procedure.

Film and theatre director Hytner was named the next director of the theatre after much speculation on who was to replace Trevor Nunn, who currently holds the position.

In a letter to the Arts Council, the executive director of the Nottingham Playhouse Venu Dhupa complained that the post was not advertised.

Nicholas Hytner
Hytner is currently directing at the National

She told The Times newspaper the selection failed "every test of transparency" and centred on one candidate.

On Wednesday a spokesman for the Arts Council confirmed to BBC News Online that they had received the letter from Miss Dhupa but denied it was investigating.

He said the Arts Council was included in the selection committee.

"We have received the letter and we will be examining its contents.

"But we have never had a problem with the National Theatre's selection process," the spokesman added.

Five-year term

Hytner, 45, won the position at the theatre on London's South Bank after being chosen by the 13 members of the theatre's board, headed by Reuters chairman Sir Christopher Hogg.

Hytner is due to take over from Nunn for a five-year term from April 2003.

Sir Christopher said he preferred to invite responses for the post of director rather than place an advert.

Of the board's choice of director, he said: "Nick Hytner will be a worthy successor in the line of superb directors that the National Theatre has had since its beginnings."

See also:

25 Sep 01 | Arts
Hytner sets out National plan
25 Sep 01 | Arts
Hytner appointment welcomed
18 Apr 01 | Arts
National's Nunn to leave
02 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Eyre calls for cheaper theatre
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