Star-studded sketches help Comic Relief raise more than £31m on Red Nose Day

A host of comedy sketches, musical performances and a special message from the Prince of Wales helped raise nearly £32million for Comic Relief, it was revealed at the end of the live BBC broadcast.

The charity fundraiser, hosted at Salford’s MediaCity on BBC One, was hosted by presenters David Tennant, AJ Odudu, Joel Dommett, Paddy McGuinness and Zoe Ball.

In the opening credits, Comic Relief co-founder Sir Lenny Henry transformed into Doctor Who star Tennant after following a skit in which he felt sick in his dressing room and asked for a “doctor”.

Tennant, 51, said: “For the first time in Comic Relief’s history, we are flying without our captain, Sir Lenny Henry.

“He’s in the middle of another project, but before he regenerated he made a little movie for us, which you’ll see later.”

Comedy sketches that evening included a sketch of an unseen Eurovision audition clip, in which chat show host Graham Norton, Eurovision winner Lulu and Eurovision runner-up Sam Ryder judged to win the British Eurovision entrant for this year to find.

After facetiming Abba singer and Eurovision winner Bjorn Ulvaeus, the sketch saw comedian Miranda Hart sing and dance badly to Hero by Mariah Carey, while Fifty Shades Of Gray actor Jamie Dornan had “lost his voice” and was playing big cards holding up the words to Adele’s Someone Like You.

Singer Fleur East also appeared in the sketch, in which Norton dubbed her a “runner-up” after appearing on the X Factor and other reality shows, and saw her humorously storm off the stage.

TV chef Gordon Ramsay played recorder player and comedian David Walliams in a leather outfit, singing Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger and hitting his own “golden buzzer,” which referenced Britain’s Got Talent.

There were also performances by Zara Larsson, Tony Hadley, Bono, Richard “Dick” McCourt and Dominic “Dom” Wood, Cheryl Baker and Bucks Fizz, a Dalek from Doctor Who, and French TV star Fred Sirieix, who pretended to be British.

Dermot O’Leary was seated outside to hug the contestants – a nod to his previous role on the X Factor – and the judges left before Ed Sheeran was due to audition with a song called To Love Is To Win.

O’Leary later teamed up with Jamie Demetrious Stath Charalambos and the cast of Stath Lets Flats for a skit. The skit saw the bumbling real estate agent give an incredulous O’Leary a special “sponsored home viewing.”

After failing to rent the property to O’Leary, Stath and co persuaded him to use his “X Factor connections” to help them produce a charity single for Comic Relief featuring the former X Factor Contestants Honey G, Ben Haenow, Stevi Ritchie and Andy Abraham to help.

Another comedy skit saw pop superstar Kylie Minogue starring in the BBC sitcom Ghosts.

The singer and her live agent, played by Tanya Moodie, arrived at the haunted Button House to see if it was a suitable concert venue and shocked the supernatural residents.

Minogue had to “prove” the skeptical phantoms that she was the real deal, but ultimately decided on a different haunted location with a special cameo from her neighbors co-star Jason Donovan.

The 54-year-old continued to sing her hit song I Should Be So Lucky.

Sir Tony Robinson also reprized his famous role as dimwitted Blackadder sidekick Baldrick in a Comic Relief skit, in which the 76-year-old read a humorous bedtime story inspired by Cinderella.

Sir Tony Robinson returned as Baldrick to read a bedtime story during Friday night’s Comic Relief show (Image: BBC/Comic Relief/PA)

News broadcasters such as Clive Myrie, Kay Burley, Huw Edwards and Naga Munchetty, as well as Susanna Reid, Piers Morgan and Richard Madeley also appeared during a sketch which featured Britain’s most serious people telling jokes.

Musical performances that night came from Swedish singer Larsson with a rendition of new track Can’t Tame Her and girl group B*Witched singing fan favorite C’est La Vie while presenter Paddy McGuinness performed Irish music along with dancers dressed as shamrocks Dance performed in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

Meanwhile, the cast of Mrs Doubtfire The Musical gave their first UK performance of Make Me A Woman from the new stage show and Tom Grennan closed the show with the new track You’re Not Alone.

Comic Relief also took lightly to musical-comedy duo Flo and Joan, real names Nicola and Rosie Dempsey, in a catchy song that recites unforgettable moments from years past.

Another comedy sketch saw a number of famous faces also appear in a parody of the popular BBC show The Traitors for Comic Relief.

Red Nose Day 2023

Dame Mary Berry, Claudia Winkleman, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders (Comic Relief/PA)

Comedian Dawn French posed as the show’s host, half-woman, half-fringe Claudia Winkleman, along with This Morning host Alison Hammond, actor Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Olympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds.

TV star Big Zuu, comedian Rosie Jones and Stephen Merchant sat down for a roundtable discussion with Danny Dyer, who starred as EastEnders’ Mick Carter, to decide who the traitor was.

Series one contestants Maddy and Wilf also appeared in the sketch, alongside comedians Jennifer Saunders, Anne Robinson, and Dame Mary Berry.

Meanwhile, People Just Do Nothing comedian Asim Chaudhry reprized his role as Chabuddy G to star in a Love Island skit, in which his character was a bombshell candidate entering the famous mansion.

In the humorous sketch, Chabuddy G described himself as a “kebab shop heartthrob” in his intro before entering the mansion in a leopard print outfit with voiceover by Iain Stirling.

After taking fellow contestant Ava out on a date, he “kid” himself while discussing an ex-girlfriend and was also forced to sleep outside after locking himself out on the patio.

Host Maya Jama entered the mansion for a relinking ceremony, where Chabuddy chose himself “because self-love is very important” and disqualified himself from the reality show.

“If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone. Island of self-love,” he said.

At the end of the live broadcast, Comic Relief presenters announced that the show has raised £31,952,141 so far – £8 million less than the total at the same time for last year’s show.

Comic Relief Red Nose Day is a British charity working for a ‘just world free from poverty’ and was co-founded in 1985 by Richard Curtis and Sir Lenny.

This year, the fundraiser will support people struggling with the cost of living crisis, tackling issues such as homelessness, mental health issues and food poverty.

Sir Lenny appeared at the end of Comic Relief in an appeal to help starving African communities. The comedian shared a montage of clips from his past trips to Africa with the charity.

Red Nose Day 2023

Sir Lenny Henry with the new transforming red nose in support of Red Nose Day 2023 (Richard Davenport/Comic Relief/PA)

“The only good thing was that I saw for myself how the communities there pulled together and how they came together with incredible generosity,” he said.

“Everyone seemed to understand that we all have the same right to dignity and security and that we can indeed help. We can all be proud of that.”

He added: “I was so young when I went to Somalia all those years ago. I was in my 30s.

“But I think what I said then still rings true to me. forget geography. These are your neighbors.”

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