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

A series of comedy sketches, musical performances and a special message from the Prince of Wales helped raise almost £32m for Comic Relief, it was announced at the end of the BBC’s live broadcast.

The charity fundraiser – hosted at Salford’s MediaCity on BBC One – saw presenters David Tennant, AJ Odudu, Joel Dommett, Paddy McGuinness and Zoe Ball emcee the event.

The opening credits saw Comic Relief co-founder Sir Lenny Henry reincarnated as Doctor Who star Tennant, following a skit that saw him feeling ill in his dressing room and calling for a ‘doctor’.

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

“He’s in the throes of another project, but before he was reborn, he made a little film for us, and you’ll see that later.”

Comedy skits on the night included a sketch from auditions not seen at Eurovision, which saw chat show host Graham Norton, Eurovision winner Lulu and Eurovision runner-up Sam Ryder judge who will find the UK’s Eurovision entrant for this year.

Following Abba singer and Eurovision winner Bjorn Ulvaeus, the sketch saw comedian Miranda Hart sing and dance badly to Mariah Carey’s Hero, while Fifty Shades Of Gray actor Jamie Dornan had ‘lost his voice’ and held large cards with the words to Adele’s Someone. Like you.

Singer Fleur East also appeared in the sketch in which Norton described her as a “runner-up” after appearing on The X Factor and other reality shows and saw her make a humorous exit from the stage.

TV chef Gordon Ramsay played recording artist and comedian David Walliams dressed in a leather suit singing Eye Of The Tiger from Survivor and hitting his own “golden buzzer”, referring to Britain’s Got Talent.

There were also performances from 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 pretending to be British.

Dermot O’Leary was placed outside to give hugs to the contestants – referring to his previous role on The X Factor – and the judges left before Ed Sheeran auditioned with a song called To Love Is To Win.

O’Leary later teamed up with Jamie Demetriou’s Stath Charalambos and the cast of Stath Lets Flats for a skit. The sketch saw the no-nonsense estate agent give a skeptical O’Leary a special ‘subsidised flat viewing’.

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

Another comedy sketch saw pop superstar Kylie Minogue appear with the cast of BBC sitcom Ghosts.

The singer and her live-in agent, played by Tanya Moodie, arrive at the haunted Button House to see if it’s a suitable concert venue, shocking the supernatural residents.

Minogue was forced to ‘prove’ she was the real deal to ghost skeptics, although she ultimately opted for a different haunted venue, with a special guest appearance from her Neighbors co-star Jason Donovan.

The 54-year-old continued by performing her hit song I Should Be So lucky.

Sir Tony Robinson also reprized his famous role as Blackadder’s bigoted sidekick Baldrick in a Comic Relief sketch which saw the 76-year-old read a humorous bedtime story inspired by Cinderella.

News broadcasters including Clive Myrie, Kay Burley, Huw Edwards and Naga Munchetty as well as Susanna Reid, Piers Morgan and Richard Madeley also appeared during a skit which saw the UK’s most serious people telling jokes.

Musical performances on the night came from Swedish singer Larsson with a cover of new track Can’t Tame Her and girl group B*Witched sang fan favorite C’est La Vie, while presenter Paddy McGuinness performed an Irish dance alongside dancers dressed as shamrocks to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

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

Musical comedy duo Flo and Joan, real names Nicola and Rosie Dempsey, also lit up Comic Relief in a rousing song reciting memorable moments from down the years.

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

Comedian Dawn French posed as ‘half woman, half butt’ presenter Claudia Winkleman, alongside This Morning presenter Alison Hammond, actor Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Olympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds.

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

Contestants Maddy and Wilf from series one also appeared in the sketch, along with 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 where his character was a contestant entering the famous villa.

In the humorous skit, Chabuddy G described himself as the ‘kebab heartthrob’ in his introduction before entering the villa in a leopard outfit voiced by Iain Stirling.

After getting a date with fellow athlete Ava, he gave himself “the blackout” while talking about an ex-girlfriend and was also forced to sleep outside after being locked in the patio.

Host Maya Jama entered the villa for a reunion ceremony where Chabuddy chose himself “because self-love is very important,” excluding himself from the reality show.

“If you can’t love yourself, then you can’t love anyone else. An island where you love yourself,” he said.

At the end of the live broadcast, the Comic Relief hosts announced that the show had raised £31,952,141 so far – which is £8m less than the total at the same point in last year’s show.

Comic Relief Red Nose Day is a UK charity which aims for a ‘just world, free from poverty’ and was founded by Richard Curtis and Sir Lenny in 1985.

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

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

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

“Everyone seemed to realize that we all have the same right to dignity and safety and we can really help. It’s something we can all be proud of.”

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 rings true now. Forget geography. These are your neighbors.”

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