In 2014 comic relief raised £100,331,808! An amount I actually struggle to say out loud, it’s that big! The question is, can we beat it this year, and where does the money go? Oh, and what’s with the clown nose?!
Yes, it’s that time of year again…well, it’s that time of every-other-year again! Comic Relief night is the televised climax of months of charity work, it alternates years with the BBC Children in Need charity night. It’s become something of a tradition in Britain for families to stay up late and watch the entire eight hour telethon. Both charity nights feature celebrities doing daft things, one-off tv specials, hourly grand total updates and sobering film clips reminding us about the people we’re raising money for.
Since its conception, Comic Relief has grown and grown, the money raised through the appeal now funds charity projects worldwide. These include providing education and health care to the street children of India, funding training for sexual abuse counsellors across the world and supporting charities such as Wateraid and Oxfam. The public are encouraged to fundraise through sponsored events, from things like sitting in a bath of beans or growing a moustache to running a marathon or swimming the Thames!
The Red Nose:
Comic Relief began in 1988, as a response to the severe famine in Ethiopia. As part of the event, red noses were put on sale for the public to buy and wear on the day of the telethon – this became known as Red Nose Day. The money from the noses went straight to the Ethiopia fund, adding to the grand total of £76, 610. (£188,154 in todays money). The red nose changed style after the first two years, and has changed every year since!
Each year a charity single is released, in 2014 it was Avicii’s Wake Me Up, covered by the All Star Choir for Children in Need. For 2015 vocal greats Sam Smith and John Legend have put together this haunting melody, Lay Me Down:
Anyone who’s anyone from the world of comedy is on BBC1 for this comedy marathon. Dawn French dusts off her dog collar to become the Bishop of Dibley (despite some famous rivals); and David Walliams gets in a right kerfuffle as patronising carer Lou, who appears to have a new charge – Professor Stephen Hawking. Miranda Hart, Stephen Fry, Russell Brand and Cardinal Burns also pop by.
Make sure you tune in to BBC1 tonight (Friday 13th March), the fun starts at 7pm!