Every other year, the BBC’s biggest stars come together in aid of Comic Relief. The charity initiative, set up by Lenny Henry and Richard Curtis, raises vast amounts of money for important causes and ropes in a star-studded line-up to entertain viewers and encourage them to donate.
2019’s edition promises a range of televisual treats – read on to find out everything in store…
When is Comic Relief 2019 on TV? FULL schedule:
Comic Relief’s campaign culminates in Red Nose Day which this year is being held on Friday 15th March and will be marked with a live TV telethon on BBC1. It will air from 7pm-10pm on BBC1, 10-10:35pm on BBC2 and from 10:35pm-00:30am back on BBC1.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of what will be on TV screens when:
7pm-10pm, BBC1 – this segment, hosted by Lenny Henry, David Tennant, Zoe Ball, Emma Willis, Romesh Ranganathan, Paddy McGuinness and Alesha Dixon, will include:
- Jennifer Saunders’ Mamma Mia: Here We Go Yet Again spoof
- One Red Nose Day and a Wedding – Richard Curtis’ sequel to his smash hit Four Weddings and a Funeral
- Richard Madden’s return to Bodyguard in a Red Nose Day skit
- Freddie Flintoff takes Robbie Savage on a spin on the Top Gear track
- A routine from Only Fools and Horses: the Musical
10pm-10:35pm, BBC2 – Comic Relief Does University Challenge:
- Switching to BBC2 to make room for the 10 o’clock news, this special Red Nose Day edition will see guest host David Baddiel offering starters for ten to a star-studded celebrity line-up including Martin Freeman, Emily Atack, Jason Manford, Kerry Godliman, Robert Rinder, Vick Hope, Luisa Oielan and Darren Harriott.
10:35pm-midnight, BBC1 – hosted by Lenny Henry, Rob Beckett, Clara Amfo and Joe Sugg, this slot features:
- A collection of famous face will be on hand to take donations as part of the Comic Relief Celebrity Phone Bank
- Alan Partridge takes to the streets of Norwich in an attempt to raise money
- All Round to Mrs Brown’s hosts a Red Nose Day special
- A behind-the-scenes look at the Four Weddings sequel
- The cast of Magic Mike Live put on a steamy performance live in the studio
- Bond fans have a chance to win breakfast with 007 himself Daniel Craig
Comic Relief also airs some programmes in the build-up to Red Nose Day:
How can I donate to Comic Relief?
You can donate to Comic Relief via their website here, or – on 15th March – you can call 03457 910 910. Lines will be open all day (standard charges apply).
A Celebrity Phone Bank will also be up and running live in the studio during the BBC’s 15th March broadcast with a host of famous faces ready to take your calls.
And at a bank or building society, you can ask for a Red Nose Day giro slip at the counter, then pay using cash, card or cheque.
What do the 2019 red noses look like and how can I buy one?
There are 11 red noses available this year, all priced £1.25 and available in Sainsburys and Oxfam shops and online from the Red Nose Day Store.
The first nine are characters named: Honkus Ponkus, The Gnose, Hairy Nostroll, Snufflekins, Nosediva, Conk Jester, Wolfnose, Schnoz III and The Abominable Snoseman.
Red Noses, Comic Relief
But there are two more extra special red noses. The Happy Hooter is pretty rare – you have a 1 in 840 chance of finding it. But if you’re a real red nose collector, it’s the Ultra Rare Nose The Transforminos you’ll be after. This elusive nose has a 1 in 8,400 chance of being found!
Who will be presenting during the BBC’s Red Nose Day 2019 coverage?
A star-studded line-up of presenters has been announced.
David Tennant, Joe Sugg, Paddy McGuinness, Emma Willis, Romesh Ranganathan, Rob Beckett, Alesha Dixon, Clara Amfo and Zoe Ball will all join stalwart Lenny Henry for this year’s Red Nose Day celebrations.
What entertainment is planned for Comic Relief 2019?
Comic Relief’s co-founder Richard Curtis is following up his 2017 Love Actually sequel with an equivalent for Four Weddings and a Funeral. Both have received short sequels from the writer and director to help raise money from viewers and have reunited most of their original casts.
Appearing on Saturday Kitchen, Curtis teased: “I think there’ll be three laughs and two tears.”
He added: “It’s 25 years since the film came out, and I was never going to follow it up. And then it did just occur to us that the characters in the movie would have children so they might be back in the wedding phase again.
“Without revealing too much, we have another wedding and a reception after the wedding, and all the characters came back.”
Who is taking part in the Four Weddings and a Funeral sequel?
Four Weddings and a Funeral’s sequel – titled One Red Nose Day and a Wedding – filmed late last year and saw the likes of Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Anna Chancellor, John Hannah and Kristin Scott Thomas reprise their roles; the first-look image for the 12-minute Four Weddings sequel features most of the original main cast, including Rowan Atkinson’s bumbling vicar.
They will be joined by a mystery bride who will take centre stage at the titular wedding, plus a host of famous guests including Lily James and Susanna Reid, and an artist with over one billion streams on Spotify will also be making a cameo.
One Red Nose Day and a Wedding will air as part of the main Comic Relief 2019 show on Friday 15th March at 7pm on BBC1
Richard Madden’s Comic Relief Bodyguard comeback
After battling terrorists and the security services, Richard Madden’s Bodyguard character David Budd has got a new assignment: protect the Red Nose.
Above is a first look image of Budd taking his new job very seriously. And here’s a glimpse of filming courtesy of Emma Freud:
Comic Relief showrunner Peter Davey has explained how the sketch came about: “We wanted something from them and they’re all very busy – Jed’s working on Line Of Duty and being courted by Hollywood – so we didn’t know if it was going to happen. But he was more than happy to get involved, he wrote a bespoke script, we got some of the cast back together and they all loved being there.”
Who is taking part in Bodyguard for Comic Relief?
Unforgotten’s Sanjeev Bhaskar, original Bodyguard cast members Gina McKee and Vincent Franklin, and “even more extra special guests” will be appearing in this one-off special.
One Red Nose Day and a Wedding will air as part of the main Comic Relief 2019 show on Friday 15th March from 7pm on BBC1
Strictly Come Dancing hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman keeeeept dancing all day and all night as they took on a gruelling danceathon challenge in the run-up to Red Nose Day.
When is Tess and Claudia’s Red Nose Day Danceathon and how can I watch?
Tess and Claudia practising their dance moves (BBC)
Starting on 11th March (and running into 12th March), the twos showed off their moves for just over 24 hours, hoping to beat the Comic Relief record set by Sara Cox
, who completed the challenge live on Radio 2 in 2017 with the help of an 80s musical soundtrack.
Before taking on the challenge, Strictly’s Tess Daly said: “We may not be the greatest dancers, but we host a dancing show and it’s time to practice what we preach.
“Over 24 hours of non-stop dancing is going to be tough and we need people to support us to help us get through, so please get involved.”
Fans could follow the danceathon live on Radio 2 from 6:30pm on Monday 11th March until 7:30pm on Tuesday 12th, with coverage streamed live on the red button ahead of the main Comic Relief show on 15th March.
Comic Relief’s Celebrity Apprentice
Lord Sugar’s celebrity edition returned for the first time in ten years for a special Comic Relief edition. The Apprentice host was flanked by his usual advisors, Karren Brady and Claude Littner.
Amanda Holden, Ayda Williams, Kelly Hoppen, Rachel Johnson and Tameka Empson will be teaming up to take on Omid Djalili, Richard Arnold, Rylan Clark-Neal, Russell Kane and Sam Allardyce.
Just in case you’re not immediately familiar with all those names, you can find out more here.
And here’s a glimpse of them in action. Things got a little tense…
When is Comic Relief’s Celebrity Apprentice on TV?
Celebrity Apprentice aired in two parts on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th March – both at 9pm on BBC1.
It will be repeated in the early hours of Saturday 16th March from 12.30am on BBC1 – or you can catch up on BBC iPlayer.
Find out who won here – and if you’re interested in what we’re calling the biggest gaffe in Apprentice history, you can read more here.
Kilimanjaro: The Bigger Red Nose Climb
It’s been ten years since the first Red Nose Day climb of Kilimanjaro – now a new batch of famous faces have trained to walk up Africa’s highest mountain. The trek lasted eight days and saw the team face basic conditions, freezing night temperatures and possible altitude sickness.
Scaling the 5,895-metre peak are:
- Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas
- Former Chancellor and Strictly star Ed Balls
- Love Island winner Dani Dyer
- Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock
- BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker
- Pointless presenter Alexander Armstrong
- Broadcaster Anita Rani
- NFL star Osi Umenyiora
UPDATE: The group officially reached the summit earlier this month, and shared a group hug, as revealed in a Twitter post by Armstrong.
When is Kilimanjaro: The Bigger Red Nose Climb on TV?
Kilimanjaro: The Bigger Red Nose Climb aired on Wednesday 13th March at 9pm on BBC2. You can catch it on BBC iPlayer here.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go (Yet) Again
Mamma Mia for Comic Relief is back, a whole decade after fans were first treated to Jennifer Saunders’ dance moves and Philip Glenister’s singing.
This time around, the spoof will see stars recreating memorable moments from last summer’s sequel and attempting to sing some of Abba’s most iconic songs.
Who’s taking part in Mamma Mia! Here We Go (Yet) Again?
Jennifer Saunders, who has written the segment, will reprise her role as Meryl Streep’s Donna, and will be joined by Alan Carr as Colin Firth’s Harry and Philip Glenister as Pierce Brosnan’s Sam. Miranda Hart and Sue Perkins will also return as the producer and director.
New faces joining the cast include Carey Mulligan as Amanda Seyfried’s Sophie, Gemma Arterton as Lily James’ Young Donna, Susan Calman as Julie Walter’s Rosie, Tom Hollander as Andy Garcia’s Fernando, Rose Johnson as Young Tanya, Lucy Montgomery as Tanya and Joe Thomas as Young Sam, Bill AND Harry.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go (Yet) Again will air as part of the main Comic Relief 2019 show on Friday 15th March from 7pm on BBC1
Following his triumphant return to the BBC, Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge is back on Comic Relief, attempting to raise money on the streets of Norwich.
The North Norfolk Digital DJ and current guest presenter of BBC1’s This Time will be joined by his trusty sidekick, Simon Denton.
Alan Partridge will appear as part of the main Comic Relief 2019 show on Friday 15th March from 7pm on BBC1
Freddie’s Top Gear Wind Up
Freddie Flintoff was last year announced as one of the new hosts of Top Gear alongside Paddy McGuinness, and the former cricketer will make his Top Gear debut with Freddie’s Driving School as he invites Robbie Savage for a run of the show’s world famous track for a Comic Relief special.
Freddie’s Top Gear Wind Up will air as part of the main Comic Relief 2019 show on Friday 15th March from 7pm on BBC1
Comic Relief Does University Challenge
Martin Freeman has been announced as captain of one of the celebrity University Challenge teams set to compete for Comic Relief, and will rival a group led by comedian Jason Manford.
The charity special will see David Baddiel taking over from quiz master Jeremy Paxman, presiding over two competing teams including the likes of Inbetweeners star Emily Atack, comedian Kerry Godliman, TV judge Robert Rinder, Strictly’s Vick Hope, comic Luisa Omielan and stand-up Darren Harriott.
When is Comic Relief Does University Challenge on TV?
Comic Relief Does University Challenge will air separately to the main show on Friday 15th March at 10pm on BBC2.
Radio 1’s 24-Hour LOL-A-Thon
Scott Mills and Chris Stark are bringing back Radio 1’s 24-Hour LOL-A-Thon, which will see the duo putting their humour to the test in a bid to raise more money than ever for Red Nose Day.
When can I listen to Radio 1’s 24-Hour LOL-A-Thon?
Prepare to be amused from Wednesday 6th March at 1pm on Radio 1.
Daves: The Official Calendar
David Walliams is set to gather a whole line-up of showbiz Daves to join him in making a Comic Relief charity calendar: the ‘Calendar of Daves’.
Which Daves will be taking part?
While the line-up hasn’t been revealed yet, we certainly have a few favourites who we’re hoping to see grace the calendar’s pages, from Doctor Who star David Tennant and national treasure David Attenborough to football legend David Beckham.
Daves: The Official Calendar will air as part of the main Comic Relief 2019 show on Friday 15th March from 7pm on BBC1
Comic Relief has launched a prize draw which will give lucky winners the chance to hang out with everyone from Sir David Attenborough to Jodie Whittaker to Claire Foy. Each entry costs £10 and you can enter as many times as you like!
First up is breakfast with Sir David Attenborough at the National History Museum, described as perhaps “the best breakfast of all time, and the greatest prize Comic Relief has ever offered.” The lucky winner and their plus one will get to visit the museum in London and share the best meal of the day before Attenborough conducts a private tour of his favourite exhibits.
The breakfast theme continues, as one fan and their guest will be invited to join Jodie Whittaker (and Mandip Gill) on the set of Doctor Who for breakfast followed by a tour of the set in Cardiff.
Then there’s a chance to have drinks with Tom Hiddleston and watch his play Betrayal, or have tea with The Crown’s original royal family (including Claire Foy, Matt Smith and Vanessa Kirby).
Further prizes include a drink and a snack with Gillian Anderson as well as theatre tickets to her show All About Eve, a private gig with Mumford and Sons in Richard Curtis’s living room, and a chance to meet One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson for a breakfast butty.
Also up for grabs are a Stormtroopers helmet, a print by Charlie Mackesy, breakfast at Grangers & Co with Tanya Burr, a chance to join Table Manners with Jessie Ware and Richard Curtis, an invite to hang out backstage at the Guilty Feminist or have dinner, and breakfast with Giovanna Fletcher.
The prize draw is now open.
Win a cameo voiceover role in Toy Story 4!
Radio 2 has launched a text prize draw which will give one lucky Toy Story fan the chance to win a cameo voiceover role.
Whoever wins will be given the opportunity to record a voiceover for a character (as yet unspecified) in the upcoming Toy Story 4 movie. Travel to Shepperton Studios in London and accommodation will be provided.
The draw is open until 6pm on Friday 15th March. Text the word WIN to 84903 to make a £10 donation and enter the competition – full details here.
Comic Relief’s “Spectacular” night of comedy
Held at Wembley Arena on 28th February, this one-off show included a line-up made up of Sir Lenny Henry, Katherine Ryan, Jimmy Carr, John Bishop, Romesh Ranganathan, Rob Beckett, Alan Carr and Russell Howard.
What is the difference between Red Nose Day and Comic Relief?
Comic Relief is a British charity, set up by Richard Curtis and Sir Lenny Henry in 1985, originally conceived in response to famine in Ethiopia.
Red Nose Day is their biggest fundraising initiative culminating in a live telethon on the BBC, taking place every other year and always calling upon a star-studded line-up to encourage viewers to donate.
In March 2015 it was announced that in its first 30 years, the combined efforts of Comic Relief and Sport Relief have raised in excess of £1 billion.