Hopes high for healthy response to Red Nose Day

Indira Das-Gupta

Comic Relief organisers are confident the public will dig deep for Red Nose Day on Friday, despite recent reports that charitable giving has been affected by the tsunami appeal.

Sales of themed T-shirts and red noses are up on figures from the 2003 event, and a spokeswoman for Comic Relief said: "We wouldn't like to speculate on how the tsunami may or may not affect things on the night, but all our indicators so far have been strong - stronger than usual, in fact."

Red Nose Night Live 2005 will be screened on BBC1 from 7pm with a host of presenters, including Jonathan Ross and Graham Norton, and is expected to be a ratings winner. The night will also feature a celebrity-themed version of Little Britain and the climax of the latest Celebrity Fame Academy.

The spokeswoman added: "We have had a lot of media coverage this year and a fabulous response from artists, many of whom approached us about taking part."

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