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Red Nose Day aims to show the power of humour

This news post is over 2 years old

The annual Comic Relief event is aiming to raise much needed funds for charities

The plans for Red Nose Day 2021 have been revealed.

The annual event will take place on Friday 19 March. Organisers Comic Relief have said it has never felt more important to raise smiles and money for those who are struggling more than ever.

Over the past 35 years, the event has raised £1.4bn to help change millions of lives, all thanks to the enormous generosity and kindness of the British public. 

Comic Relief co-founder, Sir Lenny Henry, said: We all need cheering up, so this year Red Nose Day will be a bit different. Of course we want to raise as much money as possible for people who really need it in the UK and around the world. But we also want to make you smile and bring you some laughter over the coming weeks!’ 

A new short film, which can be watched here, has been released today featuring projects supported by Comic Relief alongside supporters, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dame Judi Dench, Karim Zeroual, Joe Lycett, Mo Gilligan, Roman Kemp, Shappi Khorsandi and Sir Lenny Henry, who discuss how comedy has helped them personally in different ways.   

Barrie, aged 70, features in the film and explains how attending Inverclyde Shed, a project that is supported by Comic Relief, has helped combat loneliness. He said: “I joined Inverclyde Shed about 18 months ago, and at that time I was coming out of a fairly dark place, I’d had quite a few problems. I lost my wife in 2004 and I’ve also got a debilitating condition in my spine which means I’m in a wheelchair a lot of the time now.” 

About his time spent at the shed, Barrie said: "I discovered something that had been missing in my life, that I didn’t realise had been missing. It was the social aspect of being in the shed. It was a real eye opener for me. Very quickly I found myself in an environment where there was a lot of banter and a lot of humour. Sometimes, I think you can be very lonely without realising how lonely you are until you experience something else. I really started to enjoy the social aspect of things - being there with the other men, for me was very enlightening." ​ 

Benedict Cumberbatch said: “I think laughter is a panacea, it’s always been a national medicine. I think people reached out for it in lockdown; it’s a way of getting through life’s difficulties and release the tension to just have a moments respite from it; and that relief is much needed now.” 

Dame Judi Dench said: “I absolutely and implicitly believe in laughter being the best medicine. Red Nose Day is something we can all enjoy, and goodness knows during this lockdown everyone has relied so much on television and seeing as many films as they can. I look forward to it enormously. I hope we all have a wonderful laugh and at the same time donate something as it goes to a very, very good cause."

While this Red Nose Day will feel different, there will be lots of exciting ways to support if you feel able to, from celebrity challenges, buying a Red Nose and official Red Nose Day t-shirt, watching BBC TV specials, and much more in store.

Heart-warming moments of kindness and community strength have shone through even the hardest of times in the past year, with people rallying together to support their neighbours and strangers, family, friends and frontline workers, with seemingly small acts that have made a huge difference.  

And so, this Red Nose Day sees the launch of Share a Smile, in collaboration with BBC Children’s, to bring a little more joy to homes across the country. Laughter can offer some temporary release from problems and so by encouraging people to put their favourite joke in their window, people power can get the nations laughing right across the UK, one home at a time.  An interactive Red Nose map on the CBBC website will show just how smiley we’ve got, and some of the best ones will appear across CBeebies and CBBC shows including Blue Peter, Saturday Mash Up, Newsround and CBBC HQ over the weeks leading up to, and also on the BBC One night of TV. 

Red Nose Day 2021 will culminate in an unmissable evening of television that will be broadcast live on BBC One as some of the nation’s favourite faces come together for a very special night of comedy, entertainment, music and much more besides. The Red Nose Day night of TV will feature hilarious sketches, live performances and one-off comedy specials whilst showcasing the incredible impact donations have in the UK and across the world. With lots of exciting news still to be announced in the lead up to the big day.

Red Nose Day donations will help tackle important issues including homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse, and mental health problems, all of which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.



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