The greatness of ‘Red Nose Day’ returns to BBC1 on March 17!

Comic Relief co-founder Sir Lenny Henry is one of the celebrities launching this year’s Comic Relief (Picture: Richard Davenport/Comic Relief)

Red Nose Day has to be the single most brilliant example known to man and/or woman of how an entire country demonstrates the ability to rally around a charitable cause.

To label Red Nose Day in the UK as a cultural phenomenon is doing it an injustice. It’s an institution. The entire country gets involved. The entire British acting community in all genres lend their time and talents to this effort.

Comic Relief was launched on Christmas Day in 1985 by comedian Sir Lenny Henry and writer/director Richard Curtis (Vicar of Dibley, Blackadder, Mr Bean, Love Actually, Pirate Radio) and aired live on the BBC to highlight the famine crippling Ethiopia. Not long after, the concept of Red Nose Day was created to focus attention on Comic Relief’s activities, with the first ever RND event in 1986 raising an impressive £15 million.

Fast forward 37 years to 2023 where, no matter how you slice and dice it, after the last three years we all are still in desperate need of a laugh right now which makes the fact that Red Nose Day is returning to BBC One on Friday, March 17 even better!

Sir Lenny Henry, Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, Jay Blades and AJ Odudu are amongst the stars launching Red Nose Day 2023. According to the folks over at Comic Relief, AJ will be joining Doctor Who’s David Tennant, Joel Dommett, Paddy McGuinness and Zoe Ball as presenters of the BBC One night of entertainment next month.

Even though I personally have nothing to do with RND2023 and while this picture may have been from several years ago, never let it be said that I didn’t do my part to get the 2023 Red Nose Day ball rolling from just short of 5000 miles away.

It’s Red Nose Day at Speedys. Photo: Kim Young

Red Nose Day is a night when comedy reaches new heights. One of the best sketches I can remember is when Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Dame Judi Dench visit The Repair Shop.

It seems as though The Repair Shop‘s Jay Blades has a few secret admirers in the trio. According to the Vicar of Dibley star, Judi was blown away filming with Blades. “You’re going to have to rescue Jay Blades at the end of the day from Judi’s clutches, and then we’ll be next in line,” said French. Jennifer Saunders added in an interview with the Daily Mirror: “And she’s a huge fan, Dame Judi. ‘Oh, he stole my beating heart,’ is what she said.

Watch Red Nose Day — Friday, March 17 on BBC One!

In: Comedy