1. ITV Report

British stars sign letter backing calls to remain in EU

(clockwise from top left) Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Patrick Stewart, Bill Nighy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Keira Knightley and Dame Kristin Scott Thomas Credit: PA Wire

A star-studded list of British actors, musicians and writers have signed a letter backing calls for the UK to remain in the European Union.

The group, which includes Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, say Britain's "global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away" from the EU.

They say it would leave the country as "an outsider shouting from the wings".

“From the smallest gallery to the biggest blockbuster, many of us have worked on projects that would never have happened without vital EU funding or by collaborating across borders,” they say, in a letter organised by the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign.

"From the Bard to Bowie, British creativity inspires and influences the rest of the world. We believe that being part of the EU bolsters Britain's leading role on the world stage."

The 282 signatories also include:

  • Bill Nighy
  • Sir Patrick Stewart
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Danny Boyle
  • Carol Ann Duffy
  • Brian Blessed
  • Jamie Bell
  • Steve Coogan
  • Dame Kristin Scott Thomas
  • Paloma Faith
  • Vivienne Westwood
  • Dame Hilary Mantel
  • John le Carre

But House of Cards creator and Tory peer Lord Dobbs dismissed the warnings, saying British success was down to talent and hard work - "not because of the EU".

House of Cards creator and Tory peer Lord Dobbs dismissed the idea that culture was boosted by being in the "failing" EU.

"It's [the EU] failing. The dream is dead. We need to move on."

Britain's future inside the European Union will be decided in an in-out referendum on June 23.