Comic Relief (1988)

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The first night of Comic Relief on Red Nose day 1988 hosted by Lenny 'Nice Suit' Henry and Griff 'Stupid Hat' Rhys Jones. Participants managed to raise over 15 million pounds for charity projects in Britain and Africa.

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Title: Comic Relief (1988– )

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Cast

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Griff Rhys Jones ...
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Mark Arden ...
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Ralph Bates ...
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Nick Berry ...
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Rory Bremner ...
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Tim Brooke-Taylor ...
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June Brown ...
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Simon Cadell ...
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Jasper Carrott ...
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Roy Castle ...
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The first night of Comic Relief on Red Nose day 1988 hosted by Lenny 'Nice Suit' Henry and Griff 'Stupid Hat' Rhys Jones. Participants managed to raise over 15 million pounds for charity projects in Britain and Africa.

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5 February 1988 (UK)  »

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Edited into Comic Relief: Behind the Nose (1992) See more »

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You're first red nose is your favorite
16 March 2007 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This was the first Red Nose Telethon, not to be confused by the similar American shows hosted by Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg. This British fund raiser was organized by Richard Curtis and friends and preceded by a live performance for charity (similar in tone to the American shows) in 1986. The fact that and the Clif Richards teamed up with the Young Ones for their record breaking, infamous number one single Living Doll, also helped a lot. That particular show featured stand up performances by the likes of Billy Connoly (on shampoo) and Ben Elton (on double seats) as well as Lenny Henry playing Romeo as Frank Bruno opposite the actual Frank Bruno as Juliet. Rowan Atkinson sang a duet with Kate Bush and French taught Saunders about the male anatomy.

On the fifth of Feb 1988 the British Broadcasting Corporation allowed comedians from all walks of life to take over an entire night of Telly, attracting 30 Million viewers and raising 15 million pounds to be spent on numerous charities, all of which got a lot of serious attention in between the funny bits. When you stop and think about it, with twice as many viewers as there was money raised, the numbers don't really add up, but still, not bad for a first go around. Hosted by Lenny Henry and Griff Rhys Jones, the former starting his personal tradition of wearing loud suits with noses on them (a rather respectable couple of black and white ones) while the latter had to make do with his usual bland white shirt and silly hat that looked like half a football. Jonathan Ross was there, on the side, not yet a full partner in the festivities, what with him being a popular talk show host as opposed to a full fledged comedian. He did get an offer of 15.000 pounds to strip to his boxer shorts, though, which probably cemented his place as the third Red Nose presenter. Unlike Mike Smith that is, who only lasted a couple of Red Nose Nights, usually reporting on pledges and keeping score from some other location. Although there wasn't really a charity song released for this edition, the Christmas before, "Rockin' around the Christmas tree" by Mel and Kim (Smith and Wilde) did raise 76.610 pounds.

The evening started off with a splat as viewers of Children's BBC voted squeaky clean presenter Andy Crane to be the first one into Fry and Laurie's gunk tank (Mike Smith was next). Meanwhile, the Beegees wouldn't stop singing until the 5 million mark had been reached. Highlights include "A Question of Spit"(sport stars face their Spitting Image counterparts), "Blackadder the Cavalier Days" and "The New Statesman, meets Maggie Thatcher". In the last one, Rik Mayal took managed to slip back into the persona of Rik from the Young One's for a couple of off color remarks. Hale and Pace, Little and Large and Jasper Carrot and Ken Dodd appeared live, and all the ones who could not attend (or were not let in on the night) appeared in the celebrity filled sketch show "73 of a kind", that was spread all over the evening. Also, The Goodies reunited, there were clips from old comedy favorites, Stavros (Harrie Envield) took charge of incoming calls at the top of the Telecom Tower and at midnight, Lenny Henry walked from one studio to another to drop in and join Clive James's political talk show on BBC 2 (coupling both the BB's for the first time since 1963) and it went on after that until finally a totally exhausted Lenny and Griff collapsed in an over-sized bed. Of course everybody donated their services absolutely free of charge. It was messy, silly and fun. The first one is always the best.

10 red noses


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