Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey has been selected to host the 2017 Tony Awards REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

CBS has selected Kevin Spacey to host the 2017 Tony Awards and the House Of Cards actor was quick to joke about it. Following an extensive search, the network zeroed down on the 57-year-old, who said that he would have definitely not been their first choice.

"I was their second choice for Usual Suspects, fourth choice for American Beauty and 15th choice to host this year's Tony Awards. I think my career is definitely going in the right direction," the Baby Driver star joked. "Maybe I can get shortlisted to host the Oscars if everyone else turns it down."

He later made another reference to the Academy Awards in a tweet. "Honoured to host the #TonyAwards2017... fingers crossed all the envelopes are in order," he wrote.

While most of us may recognise Spacey as the US president from Elvis & Nixon, Mickey Rosa from 21, and Dr Evil in Austin Powers In Goldmember, the actor has enjoyed a very successful career on stage.

The Oscar-winner won a Tony Award in 1991 in Neil Simon's Lost In Yonkers and was nominated for best lead actor in a play for 1999s The Iceman Cometh. He was also the artistic director of London's The Old Vic Theatre Company.

This year's Tony awards are expected to see a drop in audience numbers compared to 2016, which drew in viewers with the hype around the smash hit Hamilton. The 2016 show, hosted by James Corden drew in 8.73m viewers, the largest audience the show has had since 2001.

Producers are hopeful that Spacey's popularity on television, the big screen and stage will help stem the expected drop in ratings this year.

Nominations for the 71st Annual Tony Awards will be announced on 2 May and the show will be broadcast live on CBS on 11 June from Radio City Music Hall in New York.