Red Nose Day raises a record £75.1m on the night

BT received 458,000 calls to the donation line during Friday night's televised appeal, co-hosted by the comedian Lenny Henry

Lenny Henry
Lenny Henry

This year’s Red Nose Day raised a record £75.1m for Comic Relief on the night.

In 2011 the biennial appeal, which raises money for poor and vulnerable people in Africa and the UK and is in its 25th year, had raised £74.3m at the same stage and went on to raise £108m in total.      

During this year’s night of live television for Comic Relief, shown on BBC One and BBC Two on Friday, BT received 458,000 calls to the donation line, which were handled by more than 10,000 volunteers, peaking at 200 calls a second. 

A spokeswoman for Red Nose Day was unable to say how much of the total was raised from telephone and text donations on the night.

Included in the total so far is £10.5m raised by Sainsbury’s through Red Nose Day merchandise and £3.7m from TK Maxx through the sale of Stella McCartney-designed T-shirts. The government gave £16m in match funding for work to improve the lives of women and girls in Africa.

Money was also raised by two celebrity challenge events: Hell and High Water, which saw six celebrities travel down the Zambezi River, made £1.2m; and Miranda’s Mad March, in which the comedian Miranda Hart completed five challenges to raise funds, brought in £1.1m.

The show was presented by celebrities including Red Nose Day co-founder Lenny Henry, Russell Brand, Dermot O’Leary and Zoë Ball.

British Airways raised £2m through onboard collections and breaking a Guinness World Record for a concert carried out at the highest altitude, on board one of its planes.

Richard Curtis, the charity’s co-founder, said: "Once again the extraordinary generosity of the British public has put Comic Relief in a position to be able to serve thousands upon thousands of people with very hard lives in Africa and the UK."

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