The series began in 1912 as a fund raiser for music-hall charities. The standard meant the organisers were able to miss out the top star of the day, Marie Lloyd. Now they are reduced to a collection of B and C list entertainers, bolstered by some with more viewer appeal, who probably couldn't think of excuse to get away fast enough. The performances command TV time only because they are designed to raise money for charity.
This year saw the the usual collection of skits by "straight" actors forced to be funny for the sake of publicity in the name of charity. 2001 also saw the career low point of 60s pop star Cilla Black, as she finished her performance clad in a basque with a flashing neon heart at her crotch.
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