1 9 8 8 – Current (UK)
Exploiting the talents of comedians and comic actors from various generations and backgrounds, Comic Relief has been described as a Children In Need with gags.
Inspired by the Live Aid concerts in 1985, Comic Relief started plastering red noses everywhere in 1986 to raise money.
Also in 1986, Cliff Richard hit the #1 spot in the UK charts with a spoof version of his old hit Living Doll which he recorded with the stars of the comedy series The Young Ones. Proceeds from half a million sales of the single went to Comic Relief‘s efforts on behalf of Ethiopian famine victims.
The first fully fledged Comic Relief extravaganza – largely the brainchild of writer Richard Curtis – was hosted by Griff Rhys Jones and Lenny Henry in 1988.
The appeal – which raised over £15 million initially and rose over the years to over £26 million – has since settled into a biennial routine, taking place on a date in February or March which has long been dubbed ‘Red Nose Day’.