‘W1A’ stars to reunite for Comic Relief UK 2024 on Friday, 15 March!

Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes reunite for Red Nose Day 2024. Photo: BBC

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. Since its inception, total donations have surpassed an astounding £1.5 billion, with funds raised to help people in the UK and around the world tackle poverty, and provide food, healthcare and safe shelter.

In true Red Nose Day/Comic Relief fashion, the stars are aligning for what will, once again, prove to be a great night of telly as it was recently announced that the stars of the brilliant BBC sitcom W1A will reunite for a special as part of this year’s Comic Relief effort. As the BBC’s Head of Values Ian Fletcher, Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey, Dick Turpin) was tasked with having to deal with everyday problems and long term questions about the broadcaster’s future. He, begrudgingly, ‘worked’ alongside Brand Consultant Siobhan Sharpe (Jessica Hynes), Senior Communications Officer Tracey Pritchard (Monica Dolan) and personal assistant Will Humphries (Hugh Skinner).

The four actors are confirmed to feature in a reunion sketch (via TV Zone), which will see their W1A characters scramble to find a presenter to replace the outgoing Sir Lenny Henry, who is stepping down after this year’s show. Sir Lenny has been a part of Comic Relief and RND since the beginning, almost four decades ago.

Hugh Skinner as Will Humphries in W1A. Photo: BBC

Last 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 was 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.

Kylie Minogue Red Nose Day 2023. Photo: BBC/Comic Relief

It’s only been a year but it seems like a long, long time since RND 2023. Thankfully, it looks like with the recent Red Nose Day 2024 broadcast on Friday, 15 March, 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! 2024 hasn’t happened yet and I already can’t wait for March 2025!

In: Comedy