Red Nose Day smashes £35m in biggest single appeal day

Britain experienced its biggest single day of fundraising on Friday when Red Nose Day raised £35.2 million for Comic Relief.

The figure, which beats the amount raised on the previous Red Nose Day in 2001 by £12.5 million, was achieved despite concerns about how the threat of war and an uncertain economic climate might affect donations.

"We were fantastically surprised and delighted with the response," said Comic Relief spokesperson Vanessa Magnani.

"We didn't know if people would think a charity event frivolous under the circumstances, or if they would actually be more willing to donate because of increased awareness of global issues."

Magnani attributes this year's success to the Big Hair Do theme. Parts of the UK sold out of red hairspray, and one Cardiff man drove to London to pick up two red noses for his children because all his local stores had sold out.

"The theme really gave people something to hook on to; it captured imaginations," said Magnani.

Any charity is eligible to apply for grants and details of the application process will be on the web site as soon the final amount raised has been confirmed.

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