Tory leader David Cameron has won a big-name celebrity endorsement with TV talent supremo Simon Cowell declaring the Tory leader was "the prime minister Britain needs at this time".
The multi-millionaire entrepreneur, writing in The Sun newspaper, said he believed Mr Cameron had the "substance and the stomach to navigate us through difficult times".
His public endorsement will come as a disappointment to Prime Minister Gordon Brown who has often talked about his fondness for Cowell shows such as The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent.
But Cowell, while recognising Mr Brown was "very sincere", expressed doubts that the Labour leader still had the energy needed for the "huge task" facing whoever wins on May 6.
And he dismissed Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg as "made for TV", suggesting his performance in the leaders' debates might have won him the talent show vote but was not enough to be PM.
He wrote: "I have met David on two occasions. I liked him immediately. I trust him and he was very quick to commit to helping with a serious funding deficit for a children's hospice charity I am involved with.
"I have always trusted my gut instinct - and this was a guy who I thought would do the right things for this country. I believe he is the Prime Minister Britain needs at this time. He has substance and the stomach to navigate us through difficult times."
Although he had not met Mr Clegg, he said, "he is made for TV". "We are not talent show judges picking pretty-sounding contestants now. The future government of our country is so much more important than that."
Cowell joined other business leaders in backing Tory plans for more rapid cuts in public spending, saying: "Delaying the pain for future generations is suicidal."
Calling for a "British dream" to emulate that of the US, where he has also forged a successful career, he said: "The majority of our wealth of talented people aren't being given the chance they need to grow and bloom at the moment. And the country has too many social problems - in particular knife crime and a collapse in family values."