Homeland star David Harewood named new president of Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts

David Harewood will take up the position immediately ( Jonathan Brady/PA)
David Harewood will take up the position immediately ( Jonathan Brady/PA)

Homeland star David Harewood is taking over as president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (Rada) after Kenneth Branagh stepped down from the role at the top of the prestigious drama school.

He is joined by Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo as vice president at the school, whose graduates include John Gielgud, Glenda Jackson and Tom Hiddleston.

Branagh, whose career includes critically acclaimed hits on stage and screen including Belfast and Death on the Nile, said “the partnership of these exceptional talents” would guarantee an “exciting future” for the institution.

Both Harewood and Erivo are former students at the school, which opened its doors in Bloomsbury in 1904 and has trained talent from Taron Egerton and Sophie Okonedo to Anthony Hopkins.

Harewood said: “As a former student at Rada and somebody who has enjoyed both the highs and experienced the lows of this industry, I feel I am ideally placed to help these young people navigate the sometimes difficult path from students to professionals, by bringing all the knowledge and experience I’ve learnt over a 30 year career.

“I very much look forward to beginning this new journey and playing a small role influencing so many young and talented individuals.”

Erivo, who is set to star alongside Ariana Grande in the film version of Wicked, said she wanted toplay a valuable role in strengthening the new talent of tomorrow”.

The pair will take up their new positions immediately.