This year’s Sport Relief appeal has raised a record £50m, with the figure announced at the end of Friday night’s star-studded charity telethon on BBC1.
The show saw a host of celebrities and sports figures taking part in sketches, spoofs and other performances in aid of the charity, which helps people in the world’s poorest countries as well as benefitting causes in the UK.
Among those taking part were comedienne Miranda Hart, who found herself facing tennis ace Tim Henman on court, the cast of Outnumbered appearing in a sketch which co-starred Frank Lampard and Christine Bleakley, and cast members from Benidorm auditioning as a boy band in a spoof version of Britain’s Got Talent.
Comedian Frank Skinner was also seen overcoming his lifelong fear of water to swim a length for the charity, while David Walliams – who swam the River Thames last September in aid of the cause – was revealed to have made over £2.5m from his efforts.
Other highlights included a Sport Relief-themed Absolutely Fabulous sketch featuring guest appearances from Kate Moss and Stella McCartney, and a Saturday Kitchen special in which footballers including Theo Walcott and Glen Johnson undertook an omelette making challenge.
Meanwhile Harry Judd and Chelsee Healey took to the dancefloor once again for a Strictly Come Dancing one-off which saw them perform their routines underwater, with judges Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli joined by Olympic swimmer Mark Foster on the panel.
After the pair both tied on 35 points, Len declared Chelsee the winner, awarding her a special Strictly Sport Relief trophy and evening the score after she finished second to Harry in the main series.
The night also featured performances from dance act LMFAO, Snow Patrol and JLS, who performed the official Sport Relief single Proud.
Fearne Cotton – who was one of the night’s hosts along with Davina McCall, Dermot O’Leary, Gary Lineker, Claudia Winkleman and James Corden – praised the “amazing, stunning total” which was raised.
“We always hope to beat the previous amount,” she said, “but to do it so spectacularly is just incredible. Huge thanks to the British public who, once again, have shown enormous generosity to help those in need.”
The total sum raised was £50,447,197 – which is £21m more than was raised by 2011’s Comic Relief.