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As usual comic relief started early in the afternoon during Children's BBC, with a special new 'Flashing Blade' spoof by the team behind the 1988 Saturday Morning Show "On the Waterfront". Russel T. Davies, now known as the man behind the Doctor Who revival wrote 'em and Andrew O'Connor, Terry Randall, Kate Copstick and Bernadette Nolan dubbed all the voices over footage of the 1967 series "Le Chevalier Tempête". This stuff had been quite popular in 1988, but unfortunately, 7 years later, nobody in the youthful audience remembered back that far, meaning the Flashing Blade fell flat. Of course the actual festivities did not begin until seven O' clock and this night the Red noses turned orange and a whopping 22 million pounds were raised to be spend on various good causes within and without Great Brittain.
Instead of the usual comic single, a serious ballad version of "Love Can Build A Bridge" was released, performed by the unlikely trio of Chrissie Hynde, Cher and Neneh Cherry. To a nation of novelty song lovers, this must have come as a bit of a shock, but the song did play especially well during the films outlining the various causes, like Billy Connolly in Mozambique and Victoria Wood in Zimbabwe. On the less serious side, the Slobs (Harrie Enfield and Kathy Burke) appeared on Masterchef. Reeves and Mortimer seemed to take up an hour by drinking 75 pints while trying to sing "I Cant Live If Living Is Without You". French and Saunders did some more time at the big Red Nose table, during which Dawn French got to live out her fantasy by giving Hugh Grant an enormous smacker, while wearing some sort of copy of the dress Liz Hurley wore to the premiere of "Four Weddings and a Funeral", earning her a place in celebrity land forever. Hugh did not do bad out of it either, and neither did Comic Relief leader Richard Curtis.
Other highlights included Zoë Ball getting splatted with gunge (she deserved it). The Comic Relief Special was Charles Dickin's long lost sequel "Oliver II - Let's Twist Again' (shown in three parts) and there was a funny 'spot the famous faces' music video shown throughout the night featuring all sorts of famous people performing 'Old Macdonald'. To fill in during the nine O' Clock news, BBC 2 showed a rather lackluster compilation of the Best of BBC comedy featuring all the usual clips that are always shown in these sort of things. Even Ben Elton was repeating himself live in Dublin, but since this particular Red Nose day happened to coincide with St. Patrick's day, an inclusion of The River Dance (just before it became a world wide sensation and thankfully without Michael Flatley in this case) still managed to make it all worthwhile, especially since Lenny, Ben and that poof Jullian Clary all joined in for a bit of dancing. Finally BBC viewers got to choose the funniest comedy ever to be shown after the festivities ended, and wisely picked Blazing Saddles.
6 orange noses
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