Comic Relief hits £1 billion mark
Celebrations as Red Nose Day takes Comic Relief’s total to more than £1 billion
The British public's extraordinary generosity has helped Comic Relief reach a total of £1 billion raised over the last 30 years.
On a star studded night coming live from the London Palladium £78,082,988 was donated, meaning since the organisation was formed in 1985 an astonishing £1,047,083,706 has been raised.
Founder and vice chair Richard Curtis described the news as “genuinely moving”. He said: “When a bunch of comedians got together all those years ago we never imagined the extent to which the British public would embrace the idea of helping millions of others who they will never meet. It’s an extraordinary thing that we do in Britain and I’m enormously proud to be part of it.”
Comic Relief – Face the Funny was presented from the Palladium by a line up of TV favourites including John Bishop, Russell Brand, Lenny Henry, Davina McCall, David Walliams and Claudia Winkleman.
There were original sketches from some of the UK’s favourite stars, including Mr Bean, The Vicar of Dibley, James Bond and Little Britain. Comedians including Doc Brown and Trevor Noah also performed stand up and musicians Sam Smith and John Legend, Ella Henderson and Labrinth took to the stage.
Richard Curtis said: "Thank you to every single person who has ever done their bit over the last 30 years. And thank you from all those people who will never have the chance to thank you themselves.”
Since 1985, the money raised has helped over 50 million people living incredibly tough lives in the UK and across Africa. This includes over three million people affected by HIV, six million people affected by malaria, two million children who have now been vaccinated against deadly diseases, and the 250,000 children who have been able to access education in Africa.
In the UK the money raised has reached more than 10 million people. This funding has helped to make disadvantaged people safer, more secure, more resilient and have better mental health. Comic Relief has helped to establish the first and only National 24-hour Domestic Violence Helpline, which has received over 1.3 million calls. It has also supported work which has encouraged nearly three million people to view mental health more positively, enabling those affected to be more open and seek help earlier.