Michael Palin, Tom Conti and Arabella Weir turn out for Hampstead library fundraiser

More than 350 people attended the star-studded grand opening of Keats Community Library.

Monty Python Michael Palin, actor Tom Conti, author and comedian Arabella Weir and former England cricket captain Mike Brearley all turned out for the special day, which saw campaigners raise more than �2,500 for the community library in Keats Grove.

A children’s poster competition was judged by illustrator John Burningham, with Mr Palin handing out prizes to the lucky winners, and musician John Etheridge serenaded visitors to the library with some smooth jazz numbers.

Stephen Bobasch, a trustee of the library, said: “We had great fun and raised some much needed funds at the same time.

“We are so relieved to get the library open and more than 1,200 locals have joined, but the principal task of raising enough money to protect the future of the library has only just begun.”

Camden Council pulled the plug on the library’s funding in April and it is now run by the community.