More than 200 celebrities and public figures have urged Scotland to stay part of the UK ahead of the country’s historic vote on independence.
Yorkshire-born stars Dame Judi Dench, Sir Michael Parkinson and Sir Patrick Stewart are among the famous names to sign an open letter to “voters of Scotland” in the build-up to next month’s referendum.
Their signatures appear alongside other famous names including Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Simon Cowell and Professor Stephen Hawking.
The letter 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 that you will vote to renew them.
“What unites us is much greater than what divides us. Let’s stay together.”
The list of famous names, which also includes Oscar and Grammy winners, Olympic medallists and a Nobel prize recipient, represents “the best of British talent and intellect” according to the Let’s Stay Together campaign.
Olympic stars Sir Ben Ainslie, Tom Daley and Sir Steve Redgrave have added their signatures along with broadcasters Sir David Attenborough and Hollywood stars Helena Bonham Carter and Michael Douglas.
Lord Lloyd-Webber, Sting and Sir Cliff Richard are on the list, as are comedians David Walliams, Steve Coogan, Ronnie Corbett and Eddie Izzard.
Baroness Lawrence, whose teenage son Stephen was murdered by racists in 1993, has also backed the campaign.
All of the celebrities who have signed the letter are unable to vote in the referendum, organisers have said.
Famous Scots who have added their signatures include Corbett, former rugby star Kenny Logan, actress Louise Linton and TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher.
A spokesman for pro-independence campaign group Yes Scotland said: “It’s great to know that 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’re sure that 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.”
A spokesman for pro-union campaigners Better Together said: “It’s great to have the support of so many well-known faces.
“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.”
The letter was organised by TV historians Tom Holland and Dan Snow ahead of the referendum on September 18.
A giant version of the open letter was presented near Tower Bridge in central London today as Snow and Holland were joined by TV presenters Ben Fogle and June Sarpong.
Apprentice star Lord Sugar, who has signed the letter, said: “It’s for Scotland to decide how to vote but it has consequences for all of us. That’s why so many of us have come together to say: let’s stay together. We’ve achieved so much together and I know we can achieve so much more.”
Fogle said: “The reason I wanted to sign this letter is I’m not allowed a vote, but I’m allowed an opinion. That’s part of living in a democracy.
“It’s not about swaying votes or trying to change opinion. All we want is to let everyone up in Scotland know how we feel.
“I genuinely feel we are better together.”