Geldof to star in anti-euro ad

LONDON - Bob Geldof, the musician and third-world debt campaigner, is the latest celebrity to join the battle to keep the pound, as he stars in a new £1m anti-euro advertising campaign.

The cinema ads, which break nationwide later this week, draw attention to the dangers that the no campaign see in joining the single currency. The hope is that fans will be swayed and follow the star's lead ahead of an expected referendum on the single currency next summer.

The ads will also feature comedians such as Harry Enfield in his Tim Nice-But-Dim character, Vic Reeves and former 'Young Ones' star Rik Mayall.

The campaign is lining up the stars to appeal to those who are traditionally switched off by political advertising. The no campaign's director George Eustice said he understood politicians were unpopular and they wanted to reach the whole electorate.

In one of the 90-second commercials, Tim Nice-But-Dim says: "Yah to the euro". When he is asked why he says: "Because it sounds like urine". The former Boomtown Rats singer tells the audience that "it's not anti-European to be against the euro". Vic Reeves plays a shopping channel presenter trying to sell toilet rolls. He is shown with a sheaf of €50 notes in one hand and rolls of Buffy Fluff toilet paper in the other. He says: "I'd rather use Buffy Fluff."

The use of celebrities in the campaign has been called a gimmick by the pro-euro group Britain in Europe. It says the use of stars masks a failure to campaign around the real economic issues.

The no campaign being back by both left and right alike. Despite Tony Blair's enthusiasm for a referendum, Labour MPs Kate Hoey and Dianne Abbot are backing the campaign to try to encourage people to vote against the euro.

Other celebrities include musician Jools Holland and comedians John Sessions and Phil Cornwell, who stars in the BBC show 'Stella Street'.

The ads have been created and directed by the director of 'Stella Street' and the 'Comic Strip' comedy series from the 80s, Peter Richardson. The campaign is expected to be shown before blockbusters such as 'Spider-Man'.

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