BBC

London

Comic Relief has raised more than £1bn since the charity was founded 30 years ago, with more than £78m raised by the end of Friday’s live show.

Red Nose Day 2015 coverage included a host of celebrities performing one-off sketches live on BBC One. Host Claudia Winkelman said £78m was the highest total that had ever been raised on Red Nose Day. Comic Relief founder Richard Curtis said he was “enormously proud” of the charity’s achievements.

The show started with Radio 2 DJ Dermot O’Leary completing a 24-hour danceathon. Rowan Atkinson and Dawn French also appeared, reprising their roles for Mr Bean and The Vicar Of Dibley.

Comedian Lenny Henry kicked off this year’s appeal, held for the first time at the London Palladium. Henry -who co-founded Comic Relief with writer and director Curtis in 1985 -has hosted the show since it was first held in 1988. Before the show started on Friday, Comic Relief had raised a total of £960m.

By the end of the live programme, £78,082,988 had been raised - taking the total amount raised by Comic Relief to £1,047,083,706.

Richard Curtis, founder and vice chair of Comic Relief, said: “This is a very strange moment for me. When a bunch of comedians got together all those years ago we dreamed of raising a million or two, and never imagined the generosity that would be shown by the British public for so many years.

“Figures tell us that the billion pounds have helped around 50 million people in the UK and overseas, 50 million people whose lives have been changed or saved by the generosity of people they’ve never met.”

Comedians Johnny Vegas, Patrick Kielty, Vic Reeves, Jack Dee and Nick Helm took to the stage as No Direction -a spoof version of One Direction.