Red Nose Day, the BBC’s annual televized fund-raising event, is set to return on March 18.
Featuring comedy sketches and specials, live performances and a host of celebrity names, the live show will be broadcast from the broadcaster’s Manchester headquarters on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the U.K.
Sir Lenny Henry will return to host the event alongside former Doctor Who David Tennant, “Walk the Line” judge Alesha Dixon, former “Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two” host Zoe Ball and comedian Paddy McGuinness.
The show will include cameos from comedians Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Jack Whitehall, David Walliams and Matt Lucas as well as public figures such as Olympian Tom Daley and actor Rose Ayling Ellis.
Among the sketches and performances audiences can expect to see on the night are “Comic Opera,” which will see six celebrities given 24 hours to learn opera – and perform it in front of a live audience at The London Coliseum; “Schools Thank You” in which “Fantastic Beasts” stars Jude Law and Eddie Redmayne surprise some children at Leavesden Studios, where the Harry Potter franchise was filmed; “Rock Profile” featuring a host of bold-name music artists including Adele, Post Malone, Lady Gaga and Lewis Capaldi; “Ghosts” with pop star Kylie Minogue joining the cast of the sitcom in a one-off sketch; a special performance from “Strictly Come Dancing” winners Rose Ayling Ellis and Giovanni Pernice; “The Repair Shop,” in which French and Saunders gatecrash the show in the hope of getting a free fix; “Jack Whitehall’s Mini Golf Challenge” with Whitehall taking on soccer players Mason Mount and Declan Rice; “Bedtime Stories for Comic Relief” with Stephen Fry and some celebrity friends reading some less child-friendly fare; a musical performance from the cast of West End show “&Juliet” and “The Great Comic Relief Prizeathon” hosted by Joel Dommett and AJ Odudu.
The sketches and performances will be interspersed with appeal films urging viewers for donations for good causes in the U.K. and internationally.
In support of Red Nose Day, the BBC will also broadcast a number of other programmes in the weeks before and after, including “Tom Daley’s Hell of a Homecoming” (produced by Twofour) which sees the champion diver attempt a number of other disciplines, including rowing and cycling, to raise money for the case; “Rowing Home with Jordan North” in which the BBC Radio 1 presenter will embark on a sponsored row between London and Burnely and a “Glow Up” celebrity special with Lady Leshurr, Nikki Lilly, Roman Kemp, Snoochie Shy and The Vivienne becoming make-up artists.
“The audience can expect more stars than you can shake a stick at, loads of passionate and exciting films demonstrating where the money goes and why,” Sir Lenny Heny said. “Plus music, laughter, great hosts including me, Zoe Ball, Paddy McGuinness, Alesha Dixon – and more…this is going to be huge! Please tune in, Red Nose Day – March the 18th…you might even see some celebrities singing opera LIVE…yikes. Be there.”
Dixon said: “I have grown up with Comic Relief, it’s such an important night of the year that brings the whole country together to help others. It brings out the best in people whilst entertaining the nation, it’s part of all our lives and we all feel deeply connected to it.”
Tennant added: “It’s one of those things that makes you proud to be British. The mix of being daft and being big hearted seems to be something we do well. It’s always an honour and a joy to be involved.”
BBC Studios Entertainment Production for the BBC, commissioned by Kate Phillips, Director of Entertainment Commissioning. The Executive Producers for BBC Studios are Peter Davey and Colin Hopkins. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Katie Taylor.