Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Passionate kids helped create Comic Relief’s first plastic-free nose – Curtis

Richard Curtis (Ian West/PA)
Richard Curtis (Ian West/PA)

Richard Curtis has said “a bit of tactical nudging by some passionate kids” helped Comic Relief create its first 100% plastic-free nose for Red Nose Day.

The charity is launching a plant-based nose for 2021 made from bagasse, a natural by-product of sugarcane, created over 18 months of testing and research into sustainable alternatives.

Comic Relief had been working on an alternative when, in early 2019, schoolchildren from Fourlanesend Community Primary School in Cornwall began making their own sustainable noses out of household goods – while still donating the cost of the plastic nose to the charity.

Red Nose Day attracts some of the biggest names in showbiz – including  James Corden and Take That, who took part in 2017 (Terence Patrick/Comic Relief/Getty Images)

They subsequently received press attention and the backing of Sir David Attenborough.

Film director and Comic Relief co-founder Curtis, 63, praised the children for their campaign.

He told the PA news agency: “We had been working on it beforehand but I do think we are at an interesting time, especially with the climate debate, where the energy is coming from the young.

“This is the whole purpose – that you have got a younger generation who is pushing even harder and making you even more aware.

“Even though I remember thinking and worrying, ‘What is Comic Relief doing about the environment?’ But actually a lot of our projects do relate back to the environment, particularly lots of projects that we do in Africa try to move people from jobs that lead to deforestation, into jobs where women don’t have to earn their money just by selling trees. Also, people who are adapting to the problems of climate change.

Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough (John Stillwell/PA)

“In a way, every charity and every business is a climate business now, as we are learning, from the shoes we wear, the clothes we buy and the banks we bank with.

“Comic Relief is definitely in its own way an environmental charity, so we did want to do the right thing. But there is absolutely no doubt that a bit of tactical nudging by some passionate kids definitely made a difference. That’s a good thing and what we would hope of people who support Comic Relief.”

Pupils aged between five and 10 from the school will be given a first look at the new noses on Tuesday, which will be available in 10 different animal characters including a squirrel, fox and badger.

They will meet a virtual panel of guests including Curtis, environmental broadcaster Liz Bonnin and TV presenter Ore Oduba, to discuss the new nose and their views on the environment.

Comic Relief’s new nose is not compostable but the charity says it will improve the design year on year and hopes to have one in the near future.

Actor Idris Elba took part in Red Nose Day in 2015 (Trevor Leighton/Comic Relief/Getty Images)

Explaining the charity’s drive to become more environmentally friendly, Curtis said: “It really is complicated, these things. When you do start to focus on it, this is one of the great things, it is a long journey.

“For instance, we did a lot of work on the paint because you have got to make sure the paint is also not doing any damage to the environment. And also, you have got to check on the working conditions of the people who make it. That was another thing when we were trying to find the suppliers. Also, they are being sent by sea, they are not being flown, so it is sea freight.

“At every point we are trying to take out plastics, take out the environmental damage of the product itself and the paint used in the product and the way that the product is moved around.”

Rebecca Norton, head teacher at Fourlanesend Community Primary School, said: “Plastic is an issue our children care passionately about as they see so much plastic waste wash up on the shores of our beaches.

“They are such huge supporters of Comic Relief and really wanted to see the Nose change so they could continue supporting the work they do.

“The children were the driving force behind contacting our local press in 2019 and writing to Comic Relief and can’t quite believe this has all happened.”

Nine-year-old Lauren, a pupil at Fourlanesend Community Primary School, added: “Here at school, and in our local community we are very passionate about reducing our use of plastic, so it’s a really good feeling knowing that what we’ve done has encouraged Comic Relief to create a plastic-free nose.

“We were all so excited when we heard the news, it’s something each and every one one of us will always remember and be very proud of.”

More details at

Already a subscriber? Sign in