Comic Relief have revealed how much the great British public have raised following an incredible show of generosity over the past few weeks.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that has helped to raise an incredible amount of money this Red Nose Day for people who really need it most here in the UK and across the world. From the fantastic people across the UK who baked cakes, hosted parties and wore crazy outfits to work and school, to those who took on Red Nose Day challenges and donated, your money is seriously going to change lives. On behalf of everyone at Comic Relief, we cannot thank you enough.” – Sir Lenny Henry

The Red Nose Day 2017 total currently stands at a jaw-dropping £73,026,234. While the evening programming on the BBC left much to be desired, and was even less entertaining than ITV’s The Nightly Show – which is a major feat to beat, the fundraising itself proved a huge success. Viewing figures peaked at 7.6million viewers for the beeb production which lowlights saw Vic Reeves flashing a plastic penis at Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid before 9pm and Ed Sheeran talking about boy-rape. Highlights included a prime-time high profile plug for Mrs Brown’s new BBC series and a special charity chat show with Graham Norton – which saw 38 guests on Norton’s sofa.

Piers Morgan helped raise over £50,000 for Comic Relief by promising to be silent on social media for 24-hours while spending the entire Red Nose Day in a Tottenham Hotspur shirt, a huge issue for the ITV presenter who supports Arsenal. Paddy McGuinness went on a mission to promote Red Nose Day, gate-crashing the sets of some of telly and radio’s best known shows as well as Good Morning Britain, while the world’s largest contemporary choir surprised passengers at city airports across the UK by putting on a series of pop up choir performances to raise funds. British Airways’ customers arriving at London Heathrow, Leeds Bradford, and Glasgow International airports, were treated to an hour of some of the nation’s favourite songs performed by local members of Rock Choir.

Scott Mills & Chris Stark tried to get the nation tittering with a 24 Hour LOL-a-thon. The duo took over the Radio 1 airwaves as they broadcast a specially extended show from 4pm onwards. Radio 1 listeners powered the giggles as they sent in their favourite jokes for Scott and Chris to read out across the 24 hours.  The event raised over £275.000. The pair kept the nation laughing with the help from a whole host of celebrity guests including Russell Brand, Tim Vine, Doctor Christian, Harry Hill, Chabuddy G, Lee Nelson, Luisa Omielan, Ricky Gervais, Joel Dommett, Sharon Horgan, Joe Wicks, Romesh Ranganathan, Anne-Marie, Jamie Laing, Mollie King, Mark Vandelli, Elaine Paige, Russell Kane and TOWIE’s Bobby Norris.

Also Christopher Biggins, Mr Motivator and Sinitta were just some of the celebs that took part in a Comic Relief and BT Sport collaboration; to create the world’s first ever virtual reality 360 degree comedy sketch with The Comic Relief Experience while Radio 2 broadcaster Sara Cox completed a 24 hour 1980s dance challenge, which saw the personality raise over one million quid. Guests included Dara O’Briain, Nick Grimshaw, Dermot O’Leary, Jo Brand, Joe Lycett, Matt Baker and a couple of surprises for Sara including actor Tom Hollander and Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys. There were also special performances from the cast of Thriller and Beautiful The Carole King Musical, plus 80s legends Tony Hadley, Erasure and Level 42.

Other highlights included the first ever Comic Relief Originals series on YouTube, which saw sketches from the biggest rising comedy stars in the UK today including Massive Dad, Birthday Girls, Daphne, Liam Williams while Rod Hull’s old Central Television series The Pink Windmill Show had a resugrance thanks to a reboot of a dance routine with the Pink Windmill kid dancers – 33 years later. 12 million views have so far been racked up by the clip while five pigmy goats raced for a Red Nose trophy in Brighton.

“The money raised this Red Nose Day, will enable Comic Relief to fund inspirational work helping people living incredibly tough lives both here in the UK and across some of the world’s poorest communities. This will build on the progress that Comic Relief has helped to make happen thanks to the public’s enduring support.” – Comic Relief

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