Richard Curtis praises “extraordinary” generosity after Red Nose Day raises £42m

Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis has praised the British public for their “extraordinary” generosity after the charity’s Red Nose Day celebrations raised more than £42million.

om Holland, Courteney Cox and Lulu were among the special guests who performed on BBC One during the night of comedy, dance and music.

Screenwriter Curtis, who appeared on Saturday’s BBC Breakfast, thanked those who had donated to the charity he founded with Sir Lenny Henry in 1985.

He said: “The highlights are all the comedy and we know that in advance, but then (there’s) the outpouring of generosity when you hear the phones ringing and that people are still being generous and enjoying the show.

“Even after all these years, I think the four of us are still here and last year we helped 11 million people.”

Curtis, whose films include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually, said the amount raised on the night will continue to “skyrocket,” adding, “You’re just thinking , as the night goes on and the money keeps rolling in, you think it’s an exceptional audience that’s exceptionally generous.”

Comic Relief chief executive Samir Patel praised the “legendary generosity of the British public”.

He told BBC Breakfast: “Times are tough. We’ve had a pandemic, the cost of living crisis, the situation in Ukraine and we’re so grateful for every single pound that’s come in – and that’s the amazing thing – people will come out to help other people in times of crisis.”

Noting the total, Mr Patel added: “We’re completely amazed – given what’s going on – at how many people have come out to support other people.”

After midnight, it was announced the show had raised £42,790,147, with a few more donations yet to be counted.

Sir Lenny Henry, David Tennant, Paddy McGuinness and Alesha Dixon hosted the fundraising show, which was first broadcast from the BBC’s Salford studios.

Broadcaster Zoe Ball was meant to be part of the lineup but was forced to withdraw the day after testing positive for Covid, with Dixon filling in her segments.

Kylie Minogue and comedian Joel Dommett were also forced to withdraw after contracting the virus.

The evening included sketches by Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

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.

It was also revealed during the broadcast that the endurance challenges of Olympian Tom Daley and BBC Radio 1 presenter Jordan North in the run-up to the show had raised almost £2million of the total. Richard Curtis praises “extraordinary” generosity after Red Nose Day raises £42m

Fry Electronics Team

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