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12 March 1999 (UK)  »

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Featured in Anglian Lives: Alan Partridge (2003) See more »

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A ruder, nuder version of 'Children in Need'
16 March 2007 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Okay, I always thought Comic Relief was all about comedians. What were Davina MCall and Zoe Ball doing there presenting entire chunks of the evening? Not to mention Peter Snow. Where are the funny blokes? Lenny Henry came on at the start, then disappeared for most of the night. I'm not even sure Griff Rhys Jones was still participating at this time. Jonathan Ross was still there, of course. And the very popular Chris Evans got a whole lot of airtime. Oh come on, a Beegees Medley. Yeah, sure. that's funny. Johnny Depp appears on a Viccar of Dibley special as himself. Couldn't they have teamed him up with a wackier comedy and given him more to do? Granted, he probably did it as a favor on the side while filming Sleepy Hollow, and 'Dibley' is written by Comic Relief creator Richard Curtis (it seems like each Red Nose night features either a Mr. Bean of a Dibly), but still...

Probably the most memorable (and most marketable for home video) piece from this Red Nose edition was the spoof "Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death". Starring Rowan Atkinson as the Doctor and Johnathan Pryce as the master (wearing his costume from "Tomorrow Never Dies", even this was 50 per cent fart jokes and the other half celebrity cameo's. "Nil By Mouth" stars Ray Winstone and Kathy Burke team up again to perform a considerably lighter script than the aforementioned Gary Oldman drama. Allan Partridge (Steve Coogan) performed a Kate Bush medley (why?) and Ben Elton, usually one of the highlights in years past, only did recycled material from his own Ben Elton Show. Lenny Henry went on a Blind Date (last seen six years earlier with Mr. Bean), having to choose between Twiggy, Helena Bonham Carter and Elle McPerson. Naturally, Lenny went for Elle, and let everybody know she did tongues after wards.

For this editions single, Boyzone performed a bit of a wet cover of "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going". Also, Paul Whitehouse, Mark Williams and Richard Wilson teamed up for the 'Suits You' Sketch. Of course the most 'hillarious' event of all was breaking the record for most naked people on stage at one time: 101 of them (all of them infamous as opposed to famous). By this time Comic Relief had comfortably settled down into being a bi-annual, ruder version of Children in Need. For instance: there was more male nudity on display than ever before on BBC 1 that night as Paul Gascoigne led his own 'Dirty Dozen' (including Chris Evans little ginger willy). And Elton John mocked himself (fully clothed thankfully) by swearing for 4 minutes straight in 'Tantrums and Tiara's'. On a positive note, the Record Breaker did do just that, managing to raise more than 35 million pounds all in all. At least they they didn't do any of that Celebrity Big Brother or Fame Academy stuff... yet.

2 red noses with glitter stuck on them


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