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 create brilliant content and 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. Beginning in 2022, thanks to organizers, RND is now every year as opposed to every two years!
Comic Relief was launched on Christmas Day in 1985 by comedian Sir Lenny Henry and writer/director Richard Curtis 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, we all continue to be in desperate need of a laugh which makes the fact that Red Nose Day returned to BBC One this past Friday even better! While the $$ totals fell a bit short of the £42+ million raised in 2022, £35+ million in one evening is nothing to scoff at.
This year was no exception when it came to the RND tradition of trotting out iconic superstar talent for some brilliant sketches. Just the thought of Kylie Minogue and her manager (played by Tanya Moodie) paying a visit to Button House to see if it’s a suitable concert venue would be enough to make the phones ring.
When it becomes clear that Kylie can see the ghosts (thanks to a fall where she banged her head in a music video), they get the shock of their (after) lives. With Kylie having the ability to see the ghosts, at least poor Mike has Kylie’s manager to commiserate with.
It’s only been a year but it seems like a long, long time since RND 2022. Thankfully, it looks like with the recent Red Nose Day 2023 broadcast last week, it will continue to be an annual ‘thing’ as opposed to the every two year effort. The money raised will support people in the U.K. and around the world, with a focus on tackling homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse, and mental health stigma.
Now, if I can just find the Blackadder sketch with Baldrick (Tony Robinson), it’ll be a good day.
Welcome back, Red Nose Day! We already can’t wait for March 2024!