Comic Relief. Copyright: BBC.

Comic Relief

BBC One variety show for Red Nose Day. 17 episodes, 1988 - 2019. Stars Lenny Henry, Jonathan Ross, Griff Rhys Jones, Dawn French and others.

A Night Of Comic Relief (1988)

Lenny Henry and Griff Rhys Jones present eight hours of comedy - to raise money for famine victims in Ethiopia and the Sudan, and for young people in crisis in the UK. This TV spectacular is the climax of a day of Red Nose madness across the country.

Further details

7.35pm - Lift Off!

Lenny Henry and Griff Rhys Jones start the huge red ball rolling, with some snappy help from Jonathan Ross - introducing Stavros serving kebabs to guests and taking calls at the Telecom Tower, Jim Davidson in search of the Best Children's Joke in Britain and Rod Hull with the Best Red Nose Drawing. Also Part 1 of 73 of a Kind - the Super Sketch Show with more celebrities than minutes, and more jokes than both.

8pm - A Question of Sport meets Spitting Image

Starring the real and the rubber Mike Gatting, Barry McGuigan, Daley Thompson, with David Coleman taking revenge on his annoying little puppet. Then the night forges on with a host of stars, including Little & Large, Rory Bremner and Lenny Henry's report from Ethiopia.

8.30pm - Wood, Walters... and Wise

Live in the studio - Victoria Wood and Julie Walters, and hot on their heels, the start of Select-a-Sketch.

Then all-time comedy classics chosen by Radio 1 listeners from Monty Python, Not the Nine O'Clock News, Three of a Kind, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore and The Two Ronnies. Also Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie and the Gunk Tank, and Ernie Wise introducing a Morecambe & Wise classic.

9.30pm - Jasper Carrott Meets Blackadder

Comic Relief careers on into the night with Jasper Carrott. Griff Rhys Jones reporting from the Sudan.

Blackadder - the Cavalier Years - a one-off special from the dastardly dynasty, starring Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Warren Clarke and Stephen Fry as a suspiciously familiar King Charles I.

10pm - Dad's Army

Jimmy Perry introduces a vintage edition of Dad's Army, The Royal Train.

10.30pm - Corbett, Garnett Palin and Cool

Comic Relief rushes on with Ronnie Corbett, Phil Cool, Alf Garnett and Michael Palin.

Nos 8 and 7 of Select-a-Sketch

Part 2 of 73 of a Kind

A short film by Ade Edmondson on disability presented by Stephen Fry.

11pm - Dame Edna Everage

Dame Edna arrives to grace the evening with her almost royal presence. Then excitement continues to mount with nos 6, 5, 4 in the Select-a-Sketch countdown, French & Saunders misbehaving and the Dunking of the Person Voted Most DunkWorthy Radio 1 Disc Jockey.

11.30pm - Cannon, Ball and A B'stard

Madness is unleashed with Cannon & Ball and a thousand plates. Then, to take you through to midnight, a special comedy fashion show tastefully hosted by Pamela Stephenson

A special edition The New Statesman: 'Alan B'stard Closes Down the BBC' starring Rik Mayall, Celia Imrie and Hilary O'Neill.

Midnight - Ben Elton Live

The whole nation puts on its red noses for a witching hour of comedy it would be fatal to sleep through. Featuring Ben Elton very much awake.

3-2-1 - climax of the Select-a-Sketch: Hale & Pace and The Two Rons; The Young Ones' University Challenge.

1am - Steptoe and Son

Alan Simpson introduces Harry H. Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell in a vintage edition. Come Dancing, with Tony Melody as the Milkman.

1.30am - Sign Off

Lenny and Griff close Comic Relief with a final twinkle from a galaxy of stars, and a song from Max Headroom. A round-up of Red Nose events across the country. A final total of money raised and a grand farewell.

2am - The Bed Sitting Room

The night goes on for insomniacs with the Comic Relief classic movie comedy: The Bed Sitting Room.

Broadcast details

Friday 5th February 1988
480 minutes