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'Let's stay together' celebrities urge Scots to vote No

MORE than 200 writers, artists, celebrities, Oscar winners, Olympic medallists, comedians and television personalities have added their names to the cultural campaign for a No vote in next month's independence referendum.

message in stone:  Sir Mick Jagger
message in stone: Sir Mick Jagger

In an open letter from public figures who cannot vote in the election but wish for the continuation of the UK, a list of signatories includes Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Dame Judi Dench, Simon Cowell and Professor Stephen Hawking, among many others.

In Scotland most of the artists and cultural figures who have spoken out about the vote tend to be on the Yes side of the divide.

The letter, organised by tele­vision historians Tom Holland and Dan Snow, is part of a drive to encourage celebrities to "lovebomb" Scots and urge them to stay in the UK. It features a number of artists and writers, as well as scientists, composers, TV and pop stars.

There are also several Scots on the list of signatories, including the author William Boyd, comedians Stanley Baxter and Ronnie Corbett, historian William Dalrymple, golfer Bernard Gallacher and his daughter Kirsty, MP George Galloway, artist Lachlan Goudie, rugby internationalist Kenny Logan, actress Louise Linton, author CJ Sansom and model Stella Tennant.

It says: "The decision on whether to leave our shared country is, of course, absolutely yours alone.

"Nevertheless, that decision will have a huge effect on all of us in the rest of the United Kingdom.

"We want to let you know how very much we value our bonds of citizenship with you, and to express our hope you will vote to renew them. What unites us is much greater than what divides us. Let's stay together."

A spokesman for the Better Together campaign said it was "great to have the support of so many well known faces".

He added: "Our friends and family in the other parts of the UK don't have a vote, but they do have a voice. The are using that voice to say one thing loud and clear - let's keep our UK family together."

A Yes Scotland campaign spokesman said: "It's great to know Scotland has so many friends and admirers, and we know they will all continue to be our friends and admirers after we vote Yes on September 18.

"We are sure everyone who genuinely has Scotland's interests at heart will be delighted in future years to see a fairer and more prosperous Scotland emerge using the great opportunities of independence to grow our economy and make an even bigger contribution on the global stage."

At the launch of the letter in London, Dan Snow said: "I feel passionately about Britain and everything we have achieved together throughout our long shared history across these islands.

"I don't have a vote in the Scottish referendum but I certainly have a view and I really hope our shared country stays together.

"That's why Tom and I have brought together a list of people who represent the best of British and share that view. But more than the celebrities, this is the view of the majority of people in the rest of the UK."

Among the other famous names to have signed the letter are Olympic stars Sir Ben Ainslie, Sir Steve Redgrave and Tom Daley; broadcasters Sir David Attenborough and Sir Michael Parkinson; and acting stars Helena Bonham-Carter, Sir Patrick Stewart and Michael Douglas.

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sting and Sir Cliff Richard are also on the list, along with comedians David Walliams, Steve Coogan and Eddie Izzard.

Asked why he wanted Scotland to remain part of the UK, Snow replied: "Because the Scots are brilliant. Because the Scots make this country what it is. Because of all the things we have shared in the past, all the achievements we have had, all the exciting things going on at the present."

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