THE overwhelming generosity and kindness shown by the British public has helped to raise more than £52,025,485 for Red Nose Day 2021 so far, showing just how powerful humour can be through the toughest of times. Money is still coming in and will make a massive difference for people struggling now more than ever.
Broadcast live on BBC One, Red Nose Day’s night of entertainment saw Catherine Tate’s Nan brief James Bond on his latest mission; a host of stars including Keira Knightley, Dame Joan Collins, and Russell Brand become British heroes in 2020: The Movie; a spine-tingling celebrity rendition of Nessun Dorma led by Charlotte Church; HRH The Duke of Cambridge share a personal message with the nation; and a series of influential films directed by people supported by Comic Relief projects, showing how donations do change lives.
Viewers were treated to a Jools Holland special and a brand-new show hosted by Amanda Holden and Jason Manford, The Great Comic Relief Prizeathon. Viewers had the chance to win a host of prizes.
After a challenging year, which has seen the most vulnerable people in society struggle more than ever, Red Nose Day has never felt more needed. It’s not all been about raising money – but raising smiles and bringing a little light relief and joy to homes across the country. Red Nose Day donations will help tackle homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse, and mental health problems, all of which have been exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis, in the UK and around the world.
Long-term Comic Relief supporter Davina McCall, who presented the show alongside Alesha Dixon, David Tennant, Paddy McGuinness and Sir Lenny Henry, said:
“Tonight was a beautiful reminder of how wonderful and kind-hearted the British public are. Everyone knows how special Red Nose Day is and the enormous power it has to bring us all together in the best of times, but this year, after such a difficult year, we’ve never needed it more. Tonight, we’ve shared love and laughter and helped raise an incredible amount of money along the way that’ll make such a difference to so many; so, thank you for your kindness and generosity thank you so much.”
During the jam-packed evening, viewers saw Charlotte Church push comedians Jayde Adams, Alex Brooker, Andi Osho, Caroline Quentin and Jennifer Saunders’ vocal cords to the limits in a challenge like no other – to learn Nessun Dorma, something which takes a professional five years to learn, in just 24-hours. The result was the most stunning and surprising live rendition, which left Sir Lenny Henry almost lost for words. Also singing her heart out, Mel Giedroyc channelled Bridget Jones, performing a hilarious parody of All By Myself with 27 of the biggest names from TV and entertainment – including Ant & Dec, Oti Mabuse, Romesh Ranganathan, David Schwimmer, Torvill & Dean and Joe Wicks.
A host of stars, including Keira Knightley, Dame Joan Collins, Anna Friel and Russell Brand, became everyday British heroes in 2020: The Movie, with Barry from Eastenders as the inventor of Zoom; Catherine Tate’s Nan became James Bond’s latest nemesis as she turned from cleaner to supervillain; and people at home were also treated to Justin Bieber’s first British TV appearance in five years, as he performed the UK exclusive of his new single Hold On and internet sensations, the Marsh family, performed their Lockdown rendition of Totally Stuck Where We Are, specially reworded for Comic Relief.
HRH Duke of Cambridge shared a personal message with the nation. He introduced a powerful film highlighting the huge increase in the number of people experiencing mental health issues in recent months due to the pandemic and how Comic Relief donations help get support to where it is needed most. Along with mental health, other key issues under the spotlight were domestic abuse, food poverty, HIV and homelessness, with people supported by Comic Relief projects sharing their own experiences to help raise awareness and much-needed funds to continue this vital work.
Comic Relief co-founder Sir Lenny Henry said:
“Wow. What a night. After 35 years, you’d think I’d be used to it by now; but the feeling you get when you see that figure at the end of the evening is something else. Red Nose Day was always going to be a bit different this year, but tonight we’ve been able to show just how powerful humour can be by raising an amazing sum of money that’ll help so many people in the UK and around the world. Big respect to everyone who’s helped – kids, mums, dads, teachers – we love you. From us all, thank you for your kindness and generosity and for being able to donate when times are so tough right now, thank you. You are going to make such a difference in the world.”
This evening’s night of entertainment marked the end to this year’s Red Nose Day campaign, which has seen:
- Professional racing driver, Billy Monger, push himself physically and mentally to raise £2,376,183 for Red Nose Day when he took on an extraordinary triathlon inspired challenge, which saw him walk, cycle and kayak 140-miles across England in Billy’s Big Red Nose Challenge
- The return of BBC Radio 1’s LOLathon saw the BBC Radio 1 presenter family take on an entire week of fun challenges, culminating in a mammoth 28-hour marathon show hosted by Scott Mills and Chris Stark, that featured general silliness and plenty of LOLs, including Lewis Capaldi: The Musical, Gandalf Does Garage and Superfan Steve meeting Little Mix, raising £538,431 for Red Nose Day so far
- BBC Radio 2’s money-can’t-buy Text To Win prize of an incredible VIP staycation at this summer’s Camp Bestival raised over £125,000. The winner receives VIP tickets a stay in a luxury Tipi and will be hanging out with Jo Whiley and Sara Cox, plus Fatboy Slim for a cuppa on top of Lulworth Castle!
- Comic Relief revealed its first-ever 100% plastic-free, plant-based Red Nose for Red Nose Day. The new Red Noses took over 18 months to develop with Comic Relief’s longstanding partner Sainsbury’s
- TK Maxx launched a range of themed t-shirts for Red Nose Day featuring Pixar characters. The limited-edition chari-tee shirts featured iconic characters from the nation’s favourite films, including Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and The Incredibles
- To mark Comic Relief’s 35th year, the No Such Thing As A Fish podcast team hosted 35 guests for 35 minutes each – a whopping 1,225 minutes of live broadcast, and over 20 hours of non-stop fun-fact chit-chat with guests including Michael Palin, Stephen Fry, Sue Perkins, Shappi Khorsandi, Comic Relief co-founder, Richard Curtis
Samir Patel, CEO, Comic Relief, said:
“We cannot thank the British public enough this evening; the response has been phenomenal, and I’ve been blown away by the kindness and generosity shown. I also want to thank our partners – both longstanding and new – who have been able to support Red Nose Day during this challenging time. We aimed to show just how powerful humour can be through the toughest of times. Tonight I’m incredibly proud of how we’ve all come together to raise spirits and an amazing amount of money that will help vital projects in the UK and across the world.”
The work of Comic Relief wouldn’t be possible without the support of its amazing partners, who have pulled out all the stops to support Red Nose Day at a time when so many are facing difficulties of their own. The biggest thank you goes out to Sainsbury’s, TK Maxx, KFC, British Airways, Walkers, MALTESERS®, Babybel, The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), GSK, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Emergency Trust, Esmee Fairbairn, the Clothworkers Foundation, Scottish Government, Jersey Overseas Aid, and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Viewers can catch relive some of the special moments in Comic Relief: The Best Bits at 12pm, Sunday 21st March, BBC One, and on BBC iPlayer later in the day.
You can still donate to Red Nose Day if you feel able to at comicrelief.com/rednoseday.