FIVE candidates, including two last minute nominees, will fight it out to become rector of Glasgow University later this month.

The candidates for the three-year post are: Alasdair Gray, the Glasgow-based author, Norman Blake, lead singer with Teenage Fanclub, Stuart Murdoch of Glasgow band Belle and Sebastian, and Chewin' the Fat comedians Greg Hemphill and Karen Dunbar.

The election follows the resignation of Ross Kemp, the former star of EastEnders, who was ousted by the students representative council in October for failing to attend campus meetings.

Mr Kemp blamed ''work pressures'' for his decision to stand down just 18 months into his term, making him the first rector in more than 50 years to leave prematurely.

Last night, there was speculation that the position, previously held by Richard Wilson, the Greenock-born actor, Johnny Ball, the children's television presenter, Pat Kane, journalist and Hue and Cry singer, and Jimmy Reid, the trade unionist, would go to Greg Hemphill.

Marilyn Croser, president of the SRC, said: ''It will depend a lot on who puts forward the best campaign.

''But what I would say is that Richard Wilson and Ross Kemp were both Labour candidates, and Greg Hemphill is supported by the Labour camp, so that may be something in his favour.''

She said singers Norman Blake and Stuart Murdoch had been unexpected nominees and added: ''I've got to work with whoever gets it, so it's best if I remain impartial.''

It is the rector's role to take up student grievances, hold surgeries, and chair meetings of the university court, which meets seven times a year. The election for the 118th rector of Glasgow University will be held on February 28.

Meanwhile, David Hasselhoff, the American actor famed for his roles in Knightrider and Baywatch, yesterday withdrew from the race to become rector of Dundee University.

The actor said he had been flattered by the nomination but would be unable to carry out the role because of a heavy work schedule. Mr Hasselhoff said he would only be able to visit the campus once a year.