Comic Relief raises £75 million

Comic Relief raises £75 million

Singer Jessie J shaved off her long locks, comedian Peter Kay travelled the length of the country and the Great British public took part in outrageous fund-raising stunts to help raise a record £75m for Comic Relief.

Some of the UK's biggest celebrities and presenters took part in a mammoth fund-raising extravaganza for Red Nose Day on Friday, which is now in its 25th year.

Music mogul Simon Cowell walked down the aisle and rejected advances from David Walliams, Louis Walsh, Dermot O'Leary and Olly Murs, only to marry himself, while Ricky Gervais resurrected the character of David Brent from The Office.

Pop stars One Direction performed the official Comic Relief single, a cover version of Blondie's One Way or Another, band member Louis Tomlinson having dyed his hair red for the occasion.

But there were also harrowing reminders of what Red Nose Day and Comic Relief are about, with moving films on the effects of malaria, pneumonia and starvation in Africa and domestic abuse in the UK.

The night of entertainment was hosted by a string of celebrities, including Davina McCall, John Bishop, Jonathan Ross and Comic Relief co-founder Lenny Henry.

Singer Jessie J raised more than £500,000 when she had her thick black hair shaved. 

"It's the weirdest feeling," said Jessie. "It feels so liberating. But this isn't about this (gesturing to her head), it's about donating."

The singer said it was "amazing" to have raised so much money, and added: "Everyone's crying. My mum's back there, crying with happiness."

The last Red Nose Day, which took place two years ago, raised £74.3m, a figure which was pipped by this year's total so far of £75,107,851.

Image: © Getty

Monday March 18, 2013

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