British actor/director Kenneth Branagh has been tipped to take over from Kevin Spacey as the artistic director of a celebrated London theatre company after the Oscar winner steps down in 2015.

Spacey's successful tenure as artistic director of the Old Vic will come to an end in two years' time, and members of the theatre's board met this week (08Jul13) to begin their search for a replacement.

Theatre veteran Branagh is now said to be their current favourite to take over in September, 2015.

However, a spokeswoman for the Old Vic is adamant a deal has yet to be struck, telling Britain's Daily Mail, "(There will be) much speculation about names... the process is only now formally beginning."

Branagh is currently appearing on stage in Manchester, England in a production of MACbeth.