THE SNP have announced that Dundee-born actor Brian Cox will be supporting the party.

The actor, who appeared most recently in The Rise of The Planet Of The Apes and BBC Scotland’s Bob Servant, was a lifelong Labour supporter until recently.

“I’m delighted to give my support to Nicola, who is doing an absolutely splendid job," said Cox. "She’s showing herself to be the best political leader in this country, bar none.”

“She’s also showing wisdom in the fact that she’s not over-stressing the independence case but she is actually looking to sort this country out. That is the key issue at the moment – to sort out the political system of these islands before anything else is done. It looks like the Scots can be the godparents to something quite extraordinary which may be afoot.

“It’s been a long haul to this point but if there is anybody to lead the party then it’s Nicola. She’s done a great job, is doing a fantastic job and she will continue to do a good job.

“Certainly when the election does happen she will hopefully have a big role to play in the brokering of the kind of system that will serve not only us but also the regions of England as well, which is clearly what is needed.

“The advantage of what is happening in Scotland, and what some people at Westminster cannot bear, is there is a unity which is unlike anywhere else in the so-called United Kingdom. Scotland has a unity and Nicola is greatly responsible for that.”

A number of Scottish actors have come out in favour of the SNP, including Martin Compston and Elaine C Smith.

The Labour party have secured the backing of Steve Coogan, Delia Smith, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Paul O’Grady.

The Conservatives don’t have as many celebrity supporters, although Christopher Biggins is a fan of Ruth Davidson. Last week Hugh Grant encouraged voters in Inverness to support Danny Alexander.