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Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day raises more than £40 million

Mini golf Comic Relief special, featuring Declan Rice, Jack Whitehall and Mason Mount (BBC/Jake Turney/Comic Relief/PA)
Mini golf Comic Relief special, featuring Declan Rice, Jack Whitehall and Mason Mount (BBC/Jake Turney/Comic Relief/PA)

The fundraising total for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day currently stands at more than £40 million, after appearances from Tom Holland, Courteney Cox and Lulu.

During Friday’s show it was announced that the endurance challenges undertaken by Olympian Tom Daley and BBC Radio 1 presenter Jordan North in the lead up to the show had raised nearly £2 million of that total.

The charity event also featured sketches from Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

Sir Lenny Henry, David Tennant, Paddy McGuinness and Alesha Dixon presented the fundraising show, which was broadcast from the BBC studios in Salford for the first time.

Broadcaster Zoe Ball was due to be part of the presenting line-up but had to withdraw on the day after testing positive for Covid, with Dixon replacing her.

The Friday broadcast on BBC One featured a jam-packed schedule which included sketches from Lucas and Walliams as they brought back their comedy sketch show Rock Profile for a one-off special.

The Little Britain stars dressed up dramatically as they impersonated global stars including Adele, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga while Vernon Kay interviewed them.

Another sketch saw French and Saunders reprise their roles as The Extras – two perpetually overacting film extras – from their BBC sketch show.

In the scene, the comedy duo poked fun at The Repair Shop host Jay Blades as they try to get a free fix from him and his team of skilled craftspeople.

However, things go wrong as Blades refuses to fix their toaster and they later end up destroying a childhood doll of Dame Judi Dench, who has taken it to be mended by the repair team.

A host of other superstars featured during the fundraising show, including Holland, Cox and Lulu in a sketch where Sir Lenny has to inform them that the show is running over so their sections had been cut.

The host goes to great lengths when breaking the news, including keeping Spider-Man actor Holland locked in his dressing room.

Paul Rudd, Chris Kamara, Vic Reeves, Jeff Goldblum, Clive Myrie, Jamie Dornan and Gordon Ramsay were also among the famous faces who made dramatic scenes when they were told they had not made the broadcast.

Strictly Come Dancing champions Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice also gave an emotional dance performance to a rendition of Ellie Goulding’s How Long Will I Love You.

Singer Lola Young performed Together In Electric Dreams by Giorgio Moroder and Philip Oakey near the end of the show.

The broadcast also saw Jack Whitehall go head-to-head with England footballers Declan Rice and Mason Mount in a mini-golf challenge, with the comedian finishing in last place.

As a loser’s forfeit, lifelong Arsenal fan Whitehall had to post a photo on Instagram of him in a West Ham shirt.

Another special saw Tim Vine narrowly beat fellow comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean at a shepherding competition in a special version of Countryfile’s One Man And His Dog competition.

At the end of the broadcast, the hosts announced that the show has so far raised £40,695,260.

During the show, Daley was told that his Hell Of A Homecoming challenge had contributed £1,027,111 of that total.

The Olympic gold medal-winning diver completed 290 miles of rowing, swimming, cycling and running last month in a gruelling four-day mission from London to his home town of Plymouth in Devon.

They announced North helped raise £826,307 through his 100-mile row which he completed earlier this month.

Ahead of the broadcast, TV presenter Joel Dommett and pop superstar Kylie Minogue also had to pull out of the event after positive Covid tests.

Minogue was due to appear in a sketch with the cast of BBC comedy Ghosts but said on Thursday that she would be watching from home after catching the virus.

Comedian Dommett was forced to pull out of presenting late-night show The Great Comic Relief Prizeathon alongside AJ Odudu after returning a positive test, with Vernon Kay stepping in.

The Comic Relief Prizeathon follows the BBC News At Ten and continues the Red Nose Day celebrations into the night, with live music, comedy sketches and prize draws.

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