Sport Relief raises £17m less on the night than two years ago

It raised £38.2m this year, compared with £55.4m in the last edition of the biennial event

Zoë Ball was just one of many celebrities to take part
Zoë Ball was just one of many celebrities to take part

The on-the-night total raised by this year’s Sport Relief was more than £17m down on the amount raised by the last event at the same stage two years ago.

Comic Relief, which runs Sport Relief, announced that this year’s event, which culminated in a live television broadcast on the BBC on Friday evening, raised £38.2m.

The previous event, which takes place every two years, raised £55.4m on the night, rising to a record final total of £72.5m later in the year.

This year’s event featured a host of sports stars and celebrities, including the tennis player Sir Andy Murray, the comedian Michael McIntyre and the TV presenter Zoë Ball.

Sport Relief raised almost £4m from the Sport Relief app, which encouraged young people to do more walking by tracking the number of steps they did each day.

The retailer Sainsbury’s raised £6m for the event, including through selling Sport Relief merchandise, and British Airways collected £3m from its passengers.

BT sponsored a mental health-inspired challenge taken on by Zoë Ball, which raised £357,000.

Liz Warner, chief executive of Comic Relief, said: "We are as ever humbled by the generosity of the British public and want to thank every single person who supported Sport Relief this year.

"I also want to say thank you to the brave people who took on challenges this year, not only for putting their bodies on the line but also for putting so much of their personal experience of mental and maternal health out there.

"The inspiring way the public has responded by sharing their own stories and throwing their support behind the challenges makes us determined to do even more to make sure the purpose is front and centre in all we do."

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