Comic Relief is the BBCs biennial fund raising event, which raises millions for the charity of the same name. The charity supports people suffering both in the UK and the third world.
Comic Relief began on Christmas Day 1985 with a fund raising event on the BBC's Late, Late Breakfast Show hosted by Noel Edmonds. More live events followed until finally Comic Relief was allowed to take over the BBCs main channel on February 5th 1988 for the first of the 'Red Nose Day' variety shows. The result has been a phenomenal success, gaining national cult status and taking over the normal lifestyles of millions of people who pull out all the stops to do something seriously daft for charity and put their hands in their pockets for a good cause. The most common thing to see in the UK, in the run up to Red Nose day, is the Red Nose itself which has taken on many different forms over the past 20 years.
The effect of Comic Relief's variety show cannot be understated, raising the total raised from £15 million in 1985 to £337 million in 2003 and all of it goes to charity.
Each 6-hour show is an amalgamation of hundreds of TV Celebrities, Comedians and Musicians work, as they all pull together to partly amuse the British public, but most importantly make sure we know exactly why they're doing it. Regular film inserts are featured demonstrating the poor lifestyles people suffer and what we, the viewers can do about it. Celebrities like Lenny Henry, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Billy Connelly, Victoria Wood and Davina McCall deliberately subject themselves to poverty and famine in Ethiopia and other third world countries to create devastatingly real and poignant accounts of what the more unfortunate people around the world have to put up with every day of their lives.
This isn't just a show, it's a national institution and without it, there would be a lot more people a lot worse off around the world today.