The hosts of this year’s Comic Relief show kicked off the Red Nose Day special by sending their love to Zoe Ball after the channel had to cancel at the last minute after he tested positive for coronavirus.
he radio and television presenter, 51, was due to be part of Friday night’s star-studded presentation lineup alongside Sir Lenny Henry, David Tennant and Paddy McGuinness.
However, in a post on Twitter Friday morning, she said singer Alesha Dixon will be working a “double shift” to bridge her absence.
Speaking at the start of the Red Nose Day program on BBC One, Tennant said: “Before we go any further you may notice that we are a gamer tonight.
“Zoe Ball unfortunately contracted Covid and was forced to withdraw from the show. We will miss you tonight Zoe, we send you lots of love.”
It was also announced during the broadcast that Tom Daley’s Hell Of A Homecoming challenge raised £1,027,111 for Comic Relief.
The Olympic gold medalist completed 290 miles of rowing, swimming, cycling and running in a grueling four-day mission from London to his hometown of Plymouth in Devon last month.
During the charity special, Daley admitted, “I literally couldn’t walk for about two weeks, to the point where my husband had to carry me out of bed at night to pee. I literally couldn’t move my legs.”
On the previous show, comedian Jack Whitehall faced off against English footballers Declan Rice and Mason Mount in a miniature golf challenge.
After completing the course, West Ham midfielder Rice finished first, Mount second and Whitehall last, joking: “It’s not my sport, I’m better at polo.”
As a loser loser, lifelong Arsenal fan Whitehall was forced to post a photo of him in a West Ham shirt on Instagram.
In another special, Tim Vine narrowly beat fellow comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean in a shepherding contest in a special version of Countryfile’s One Man And His Dog contest.
After showing off their newfound skills as shepherds, it was announced that Vine had scored 67 points while Pritchard-McLean received 65 points.
The Red Nose Day show also experienced a technical glitch early in the night, which meant the show had to skip its part with a magician for the time being.
The audio from the previous segment, starring Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law, was replayed as the Mind Mangler from the play Magic Goes Wrong took the stage.
Presenters Dixon and McGuinness attempted to reintroduce the storyline before announcing that it was a technical error.
When the segment was reintroduced, McGuinness joked: “Remember when you used to have live TV and it wasn’t going right? Well, I’ve been told that this will definitely be correct.
Dixon added, “And if not, don’t blame us.”
Jude Law and Eddie Redmayne caught up with some of our very special fundraisers 🤩
— Comic Relief (@comicrelief) March 18, 2022
In the run-up to the broadcast, TV presenter Joel Dommett and pop superstar Kylie Minogue were also forced to withdraw from the event after testing positive for Covid.
Minogue was due to appear in a sketch with the cast of BBC comedy Ghosts but said Thursday night she was watching from home after contracting the virus.
Comedian Dommett, who also hosts ITV’s The Masked Singer, has been forced to withdraw from presenting late night show The Great Comic Relief Prizeathon alongside AJ Odudu after returning a positive test.
He is replaced by TV star Vernon Kay.
The Comic Relief Prizeathon is set to follow BBC News At Ten and continue the Red Nose Day celebrations into the night with live music, comedy sketches and prize draws.
The Red Nose Day Comic Relief TV special airs on BBC One.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/comic-relief-show-kicks-off-without-presenter-zoe-ball-after-positive-covid-test-41463650.html Comic Relief Show starts without presenter Zoe Ball after positive Covid test