Comic Relief raises over £34m with The Traitors and Eurovision sketches

The annual Comic Relief fundraiser, which featured sketches based on the show The Traitors and Eurovision, has raised over £34m.

Dame Mary Berry, Danny Dyer and Jamie Dornan made appearances on the show.

The money raised during the event was announced live by hosts Paddy McGuiness, David Tennant and Zoe Ball.

This year's fundraising effort will support people struggling with the cost of living crisis, food poverty, mental health problems and homelessness.

Presenters Joel Dommett, Aj Odudu, David Tennant, Zoe Ball and Paddy McGuiness during the Red Nose Day
Presenters Joel Dommett, Aj Odudu, David Tennant, Zoe Ball and Paddy McGuiness during the Red Nose Day

Comic Relief was founded by Sir Lenny Henry and Richard Curtis in 1985 with the aim to put an end to child poverty in the UK and around the world.

For the first time since the programme was first launched, Sir Lenny was not there but he appeared in a pre-recorded appeal to help starving communities in the African continent.

Following a montage of clips from his past visits to the continent with the charity, Sir Lenny said: "But I think what I said then, still rings true to me now. Forget geography. These are your neighbours".

During the opening credits, the co-founder regenerated into Doctor Who star Tennant who said: "For the first time in Comic Relief's history, we are flying without our captain, Sir Lenny Henry."

Zara Larsson Comic Relief
Singer Zara Larsson performing during the Red Nose Day night of TV for Comic Relief

The 2023 show, hosted at Salford's Media City, also included AJ Odudu, Joel Dommett and Paddy McGuinness as presenters.

Performances from Zara Larsson and Tom Grennan came live from Salford.

Celebrities began fundraising ahead of Friday night's live show, with Radio 1's Arielle Free taking part in a cycling challenge and BBC Morning Live's Gethin Jones dancing for 24 hours.

The live TV event also included a video appeal from the Prince of Wales, in which he met homeless people helped by Comic Relief.

Prince William said his mother would be "disappointed" to see that the UK is still no further along the line in terms of tackling homelessness, and preventing it from happening.

There was also a parody sketch of The Traitors, featuring real contestants Maddy and Wilf, alongside Dame Mary Berry and Danny Dyer.

Comedians Jennifer Saunders, Stephen Merchant and Rosie Jones featured in the sketch, with a twist as Dawn French took on Claudia Winkleman's host role.

Elsewhere on the show there was an appearance from Kylie Minogue, whilst Blackadder star Sir Tony Robinson read a bedtime story as the character Baldrick.

Graham Norton, Lulu and last year's UK Eurovision entrant Sam Ryder paid homage to the European music contest, by playing a mock judging panel looking for the next UK star to enter the competition.

Auditions came from Jamie Dornan who had "lost his voice" and held up big cards with the words to Adele's Someone Like You and comedian Miranda Hart who sang and danced to Hero by Mariah Carey.

David Walliams also auditioned by singing Eye of the Tiger by Survivor and hit his own "golden buzzer", while TV chef Gordan Ramsey tried to impress the judging panel by playing the recorder.

Eurovision sketch
Lulu, Graham Norton and Sam Ryder featured in a Eurovision sketch

Eurovision fans got another treat though as during the fundraiser, two tickets for the Liverpool final were given away on the show by Eurovision presenters Scott Mills and Rylan Clark.

The cast of Mrs Doubtfire The Musical also delivered their first UK performance of Make Me A Woman from the new stage show.

A sketch which saw the UK's 'most serious people' telling jokes also saw appearances from news broadcasters Clive Myrie, Kay Burley, Huw Edwards and Naga Munchetty as well as Susanna Reid, Piers Morgan and Richard Madeley.

This year's Red Nose was designed by Sir Jony Ive, who is best known for being a designer for Apple.

Sir Jony said: 'We've grown up with Comic Relief and are proud to support their remarkable work.

'This new and seemingly simple Red Nose has been a fabulously complex little object to design and make and has involved our entire team. We hope it brings a little moment of joy to everyone who wears one.'

It is made from plant-based materials and is available to buy from the Comic Relief website or Amazon.

At the end of the broadcast on Friday night, the hosts announced the show had raised £31,952,141 and that total was updated overnight to £34.1m.