Comic relief is a British charity created in 1988 by British comedians. Their aim is to raise money for people in need, both in the UK and abroad, through entertainment and comedy.
Every two years, they hold a big event which takes place nationwide: Red Nose Day (RND). Apart from a big telethon on BBC, and a series of shows, the whole country is invited to take part, by doing something funny for money, either at home, school, or at work. These may include wearing a red nose (hence the name), or simply coming up with something silly/fun that you wouldn’t normally do, and then get sponsored for doing so.
Over the years, such actors and comedians as Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean), James Corden, French and Saunders, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie (House M.D.), David Tennant Miranda Hart or Olivia Colman, among many others, have contributed to the shows. Other celebrities such as David Beckham, Robbie Williams or the Spice Girls in their heyday have also made appearances. In 2021 Red Nose Day will be on Friday, March 19th.
Red Nose Day 2011 saw the origins of the highly popular show Carpool Karaoke, when James Corden, playing his character from the TV show Gavin and Stacey had George Michael mime along to the Wham! classic ‘I’m Your Man’:
A very special feature was prepared for RND 2019: to mark the 25th anniversary of the release of Four Weddings and a Funeral: the cast reunited to show what the characters’ lives were like 25 years later.
Would you like some ideas to celebrate Red Nose Day in your school? Here are some fundraising (fun) ideas:
- Get sponsored to wear a fancy dress for 24 hours.
- Get sponsored to wear your PJs (pyjamas) all day at work or in school.
- Hold a fashion show and sell tickets for the big event.
- Get sponsored to eat nothing but red food for a whole 24 hours.
- Get sponsored to give up chocolate, biscuits or crisps.
- Hold a bake-off and ask for donations to taste your cakes or biscuits.
- Get all your friends together for a quiz night where everyone pays to play.
- Hold a talent show and sell tickets to watch all the acts.
- Have a karaoke night and get friends to chip in a donation to be allowed to sing.
- Get colleagues or classmates to sponsor you to wear a red wig for 24 hours.
- Give your friends a hairstyle makeover and charge a donation for your stylistic services.
- Get sponsored to have a hairstyle like Marge Simpson’s.
- Get sponsored to be handcuffed to a friend or work colleague for 24 hours.
- Do a sponsored silence – a quiet classic.
- Can’t live without your laptop or smartphone? Get sponsored to ditch little luxuries for a week.
- Get active – get sponsored to walk to work for a week or give the lift the heave-ho and take the stairs.
Ideas from the Comic Relief website:
Many of the materials (packs) they produce can be used in the classroom, either in isolation, as a part of a unit about RND, or to raise awareness about social issues and poverty…
- You may go to their official website (https://www.comicrelief.com/rednoseday/), and click on “fundraise with us” for ideas, or on “schools“.
- or visit the official Comic Relief website: http://www.comicrelief.com/
Sometimes, artists record covers of oldies especially for the occasion, as One Direction did some years ago:
One Direction: One Way or Another (Comic Relief 2013)
If you’d like to see how some schools in the UK have participated, you may have a look at, for example, Buxton School in Leytonstone, London.
Pupils of Buxton School in Leytonstone dress in red for Red Nose Day
More examples of RND in schools across the UK:
Alternatively, you may also have a look at the official RND / Comic Relief Twitter accounts
More on RND- possible reading comprehension exercises:
How could you use Red Nose Day in your classroom / in your school? Would you wear your red nose for school?
(Updated 11th March 2021)