Lib Dems get sprinkling of celebrity glitz

The Liberal Democrats were given a sprinkling of election magic on Monday after the party said Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe had given his support days before Britain goes to the polls.

Actor Colin Firth, satirist Armando Iannucci, academic and atheist Richard Dawkins, author Kate Mosse and human rights and environmental campaigner Bianca Jagger also gave their backing.

In a relatively celebrity free campaign so far, the Lib Dems appear to have trumped their larger political rivals in the big name stakes.

The Conservatives have shared the stage with the Oscar-winning Michael Caine and Take That star Gary Barlow, while Labour has had to do with an Elvis impersonator.

Firth, who starred in the Bridget Jones films, said he had switched from Labour to the Lib Dems after becoming "appalled by the abandonment of the values they advocated while in opposition."

"For me, their conduct on asylum alone is reason enough never to be able to contemplate voting for them again," he said in a statement.

Iannucci, behind the television satires "The Thick of It" and "In the Loop," said: "I'll be voting Lib Dem this election because they represent the best chance in a lifetime to make lasting and fair change to how the UK is governed."

Prime Minster Gordon Brown was joined on the campaign trail in Ipswich on Monday by the BBC's "Dragon Den" panellist Duncan Bannatyne.

Alan Sugar, businessman and star of reality TV show "The Apprentice," has donated 400,000 pounds to the party.

Earlier attempts to sign up the cartoon character Peppa the Pig fell flat earlier this month when the character's creators pulled it out of appearing at a Labour election event.