Comic Relief final figure defies recession

Celebrities and retail tie-ins help to break fundraising record

Comic Relief raised a record £80m this year, according to final campaign figures.

The amount is a sizeable increase on previous events, which raised £67m in 2007 and £65m in 2005.

The total included more than £11m through the sale of red noses at supermarket chain Sainsbury's, £3.3m from Stella McCartney-designed T-shirts at TK Maxx and £1m through Wine Relief.

The BT Red Nose Climb, in which a group of celebrities trekked to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, raised more than £3.4m, including £1m in £5 text donations.

Kevin Cahill, chief executive of Comic Relief, said: "Even at a time when the British public may have been worrying about their own situation, they came together to make a real difference to those whose lives are even tougher."

Comic Relief has already invested £6.3m of the money in supporting victims of malaria in Africa.

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