Comic Relief

Yes, it’s that time of year again! The Comic Relief project is well under way with Red Nose Day 2011 fast approaching on March 18. This year Lara Stone, model and wife of Little Britain’s David Walliams, launched the official start of the fundraising season as she recreated the iconic Marilyn Monroe ‘Seven Year Itch’ picture with a twist. Lara joins a host of celebs involved in this year’s campaign, including her husband David, John Cleese, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden, Jedward and Alexandra Burke, all of whom can be seen sporting one of three new ‘monster noses’ or one of Vivienne Westwood’s new Red Nose Day T-shirts. The annual TV extravaganza is set to be bigger than ever when it screens on Friday, March 18 on BBC One at 7pm with Comic Relief: Funny for Money. The show will feature presenters Davina McCall, Fearne Cotton, Lenny Henry, Michael McIntyre, Graham Norton, Jonathan Ross, Jack Whitehall and Claudia Winkleman. There will be celebrity reports from Africa by David Tennant, Jack Dee and Ruth Jones as well as a TOTP2 special and a MasterChef exclusive at No 10. Gavin and Stacey’s James Corden will provide the laughs in a comedy sketch as his character Smithy, whileThe Inbetweeners present their Rude Road Trip, in which they attempted to visit a total of 50 rude places in just 50 hours. ‘Let’s Dance for Comic Relief’ is also back on Saturday, February 19 with The One Show’s Alex Jones joining Steve Jones to host this year’s lycra-clad line-up. Don’t miss Lulu, Ade Edmondon, Toyah Wilcox, Chesney Hawkes, Noel Fielding and Ed Byrne taking to the stage to pay homage to some of the most famous dance classics. Of course, there is a very serious side to Comic Relief, which will be explored in a new two-part BBC One documentary, Famous, Rich And InThe Slums, which sees Lenny Henry, Angela Rippon, Reggie Yates and Samantha Womack swap their comfortable lives in the UK to experience life in one of Africa’s largest urban slums. It’s guaranteed to be moving, thought provoking and may well leave you wanting to part with some hard-earned cash to help the campaign. EastEnders are also doing their bit to support the cause with a special storyline culminating in a cliff hanger on Thursday 17 March with a 10-minute episode to be shown during Comic Relief night. Blue Peter gets in on the action with Helen Skelton attempting a tightrope challenge to raise awareness of education and there will also be another celebrity-filled challenge in which a host of stars test their might in a desert trek race across Kaisut desert in Kenya to raise money to tackle blindness and eye disease across Africa. For more information on this year’s Red NoseDay, to receive a fundraising pack, buy a Comic Relief 2011 T-shirt or monster nose visitRed Nose dayand don’t forget to tune in to what is sure to be yet another brilliant night of charity TV on Friday, March 18 from 7pm on BBC One.