Comic Relief are well known for spoiling us with an embarrassment of comedy riches during each appeal, and it looks like this Friday will be no exception.
With David Walliams, Professor Stephen Hawking, Graham Norton, Jennifer Saunders and Johnny Vegas just some of the names lined up for a star turn on the night, there’s plenty to look forward to in Comic Relief 2015.
But what have been the funniest moments from the last 14 Red Nose Day fundraisers? Take a look at some of our top choices…
Cheer me now
Wearing a PVC jacket replete with a ‘Save Africa’ slogan on the back, in 2001, comedy character Ali G tackled Victoria and David Beckham with his unique line of questioning. Calling the former Spice Girl ‘Scary’, he asked Mr B if he’d rather be in a relationship with Baby and then criticised the couple when they admitted that no, they hadn’t taught their ‘nipper’ Brooklyn how to smoke marijuana. Parky, he ain’t.
Million dollar charm
Dawn French had one of the more enviable Comic Relief challenges. Back in 1995 she vowed to smooch with Hugh Grant, who was then at the height of his floppy-haired heyday, if the public donated £1 million. When they did, Dawn donned a dress held together by safety pins (a la his then girlfriend Liz Hurley), perched on a lip-shaped chaise longue and puckered up with the film star.
Fun and James
Back in 2009, James Corden (in the guise of his Gavin And Stacey character Smithy) put the English football side through their paces in a tough talking team meeting where he called out bad hair choices, wooden goal celebrations and disappointing losses. A few years down the line, Smithy was drafted in again to chair a meeting between Gordon Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Dermot O’Leary, Keira Knightley and Paul McCartney, to decide who would be going to present the appeal film.
Tate and rile
The Catherine Tate Show favourite Lauren Cooper truly ‘bovvered’ then Prime Minister Tony Blair when she served his morning tea and biscuits during a sketch about her work experience placement at No 10. After carping on about her trainers, parties and petty gripes, Tony told her to look at his face and see if he was bovvered. Priceless.
Unwilling to go to ‘a country where you have to have injections’, Ricky Gervais filmed his spoof charity appeal at a BBC studio in London. After being rumbled by co-writer Stephen Merchant (and later Jamie Oliver and Andi Peters) who called him out for being unethical, Ricky soon came around when he saw the profile-raising potential of being involved in an appeal. Cue ever more inappropriately shoehorned plugs for DVDs and products, and some hilarious theatrical crying.
Truly, madly, Depply
This year sees the return of Geraldine Granger (Dawn French) in Comic Relief special The Bishop Of Dibley. Back in 1999, the good vicar had a very special encounter with Johnny Depp, who was in the rural parish shooting a film. Unfortunately Geri’s plans for Johnny to join her celebrity party go awry and a power cut means she snogs Robin Cook rather than the film star.
In this sketch which had the nation in playground titters, Harry Potter (Dawn French again, this time wearing a pair of rounded specs and cape) learned the ‘truth’ from wee wizard Ronnie Corbett; that instead of being a schoolboy magician, he was actually a woman with 44G breasts. Blimey.
Taking his vow-ell
It was a ‘no’ from Simon Cowell when Olly Murs, Louis Walsh, Dermot O’Leary, David Walliams, Sharon Osbourne, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon all offered marriage in this skit. In the end, the only person the self-styled music mogul would say ‘I do’ to was to himself.
Plucky pop star Jessie J went above and beyond the call of duty by pledging to shave off her trademark glossy black bob in 2013, raising a whopping £500,000 for good causes in the process.
In this classic sketch, Des Lynam called time on his fellow Match Of The Day pundits on talking about football in the studio, instead pleading with them to discuss books and politics. Hear, hear!
Lenny good man
From going head to head with Sir Tom Jones in a battle of the sex bombs, snogging all of the Spice Girls – and taking off with Sporty Spice – and spoofing Michael Jackson’s interview with Martin Bashir, host Lenny Henry (as well as Jonathan Ross) – has been the beating heart of Comic Relief since the first telethon in 1988.