Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan were reunited live on British television for the first time in 25 years as more than £51m was raised for BBC Sport Relief last night.
The Australian pair performed a duet of their 1988 hit Especially For You during the BBC1 charity marathon – with Jason emerging on stage to supplant David Walliams who began the routine as a spoof version of him.
A fundraising grand total of £51,242,186 was announced at the end of the broadcast, beating the record £50.4m raised during the last Sport Relief show two years ago.
Highlights of the charity marathon, hosted live by presenters Gary Lineker and David Walliams, included David Beckham starring in the first new episode of Only Fools And Horses for more than 11 years and the first airing of the England football team’s World Cup song, a cover version of Take That’s Greatest Day.
Gary Barlow and former England captain Lineker led a 20-strong group including pop stars Katy B, former Spice Girl Emma Bunton, Pixie Lott and Conor Maynard in a rendition of the song. Adding their voices were footballers Peter Shilton, Michael Owen, Glenn Hoddle, Dion Dublin and Sir Geoff Hurst with all proceeds from the sale of the record going to Sport Relief.
Other highlights of the night included a Strictly Come Dancing Paralympians special which was won by wheelchair athlete Hannah Cockroft. She out-danced fellow paralympians Nathan Stephens, David Clarke and Martine Wright to take home the Sport Relief glitter ball trophy.
Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville) also offered his Big Thoughts on what the Sport Relief campaign embodies in a special W1A sketch filmed especially for the night.
The overall total also includes money raised by the public and celebrities.
Celebrity contributions included Davina – Beyond Breaking Point, a seven day ordeal that saw presenter Davina McCall run, swim and cycle from Edinburgh to London – covering more than 450 miles to raise £2,239,931.
The One Show’s Alex Jones climbed the 1200ft Moonlight Buttress sandstone rock in Zion National Park, Utah in just two and a half days. She raised £1,281,476.
Footballers Alan Shearer and Robbie Savage also took on their very own challenge for Sport Relief with the Battle of the Backsides – which saw the pair frantically race to be the first to sit on half the seats in Wembley Stadium – 45,000 seats each. So far, their challenge has raised £443,596.
Lineker said of the night: “We have to thank the British public for their generosity and to everyone who has given their time to make it the best Sport Relief yet. It’s simply wonderful that Sport Relief continues to grow. The money raised will help change tens of thousands of lives at home and overseas.”