Comic Relief. Copyright: BBC
Comic Relief

Comic Relief

  • TV variety
  • BBC One
  • 1988 - 2024
  • 21 episodes

Every two years the biggest British comedy stars and shows come together to raise money for charity. Stars Lenny Henry, Jonathan Ross, Griff Rhys Jones, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and more.

  • Returns on Friday 15th March on BBC1 at 7pm with Episode 22

Episode menu

Comic Relief 2021

Comic Relief. Image shows from L to R: Paddy McGuinness, Alesha Dixon, Lenny Henry, Davina McCall, David Tennant. Copyright: BBC
Lenny Henry, Davina McCall, Paddy McGuinness, Alesha Dixon and David Tennant preside as stars of stage, screen and the movies entertain the nation with hilarious sketches, live performances, big surprises and stunning music acts in a bid to raise much-needed cash for good causes at home and across the world.

Preview clips

General Timings

7pm - 10pm: Comic Relief 2021
10pm - 10:30pm (BBC Two): Lenny Henry on Later With Jools Holland
10:45pm - 11:45pm: The Great Comic Relief Prizeathon

Exact Timings

7pm: Dawn French as The Vicar Of Dibley

Dawn French returns as Geraldine Granger. In this special message, she takes on a fundraising challenge set by the villagers, to lip sync to her favourite song of last year, Juice by Lizzo. Geraldine is also joined by a very special guest, Reverend Kate Bottley.

7:04pm: Lenny Henry, Davina McCall, Paddy McGuinness, Alesha Dixon and David Tennant introduce the show. (Alesha Dixon and David Tennant then leave... they return at 8:30pm).

7:08pm: Two minutes of jokes, from school kids including Sonny Mason, plus Xand van Tulleken, Chris van Tulleken, Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, Victoria Graham, Lucy Owen, Lost Voice Guy, Kawser Quamer, the Top Gear presenters, Tom Salmon and Riz Lateef.

7:10pm: Appeal film focusing on young child Arlo, who was born deaf.

7:16pm: Mary Berry explains Gift Aid.

7:19pm: Top Gear - Radio 1's Kids Ask Difficult Questions

A 'very candid' interview where children ask the Top Gear presenters the most difficult questions they've EVER faced, hosted by Radio 1's Jordan North. It's time for Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris to step up and face a grilling from their smallest - but toughest - interviewers yet... a selection of cheeky children from around the UK.

7:23pm: Lenny Henry joins a Zoom call with the school children who campaigned for the Red Noses not to be made with plastic. David Walliams joins the call too.

7:27pm: 2020: The Movie

After a year like no other, it's the biggest blockbuster movie NEVER made (yet) with. Part biopic, part disaster film, this new release turns movie stars into unlikely everyday British heroes. Starring Keira Knightley, Michael Sheen and KSI among many other special guests, prepare to see your favourite celebrities in the most unlikely roles.

7:33pm: VT package showing Billy Monger's triathlon challenge, followed by an in-studio interview with Billy.

7:37pm: James Nesbitt introduces appeal film about a family battling drug addiction.

7:42pm: Marty, Doc and Jennifer from Back To The Future: The Musical step into the studio for a special performance in a bespoke sketch created by Bob Gale, one the creators of the Back To The Future film trilogy. Featuring a new song from the musical, Put Your Mind To It, and the return of the classic Power Of Love.

7:50pm: Joanna Lumley says thank you to KFC.

7:52pm: Jack Whitehall's Zoom Meeting

Jack Whitehall tries to host a Comic Relief Zoom meeting with some of his celebrity friends... but realises it's harder to do than he thought! This star-studded sketch features special guests such as Guz Khan, Olivia Colman and Anya Taylor-Joy. The producers joke that it proves "even A-list stars can go straight to video (conference)."

7:55pm: Appeal film focusing on how the lack of tourism is impacting those abroad who rely on the income.

8pm: The Marsh Family sing.

8:05pm: Theme Park competition, with Jeff Goldblum.

8:08pm: Joanna Lumley says thanks to British Airways.

8:10pm: Justin Bieber performs.

8:15pm: Tim Vine's Joke In A Box

Tim Vine is on a mission: to reward the men and women of the UK's military forces by spreading a smile! Concealed within a funfair-style fortune telling machine, Tim is poised and ready to surprise the unsuspecting servicemen and women who've spent some of the last 12 months assisting frontline medical staff with Covid testing and vaccine deliveries.

8:17pm: Appeal film about AIDS in South Africa.

8:24pm: All By Myself the Music Video

Mel Giedroyc guest stars as Bridget Jones in this parody of the famous opening scene of Bridget Jones's Diary, singing All By Myself. Mel is joined in the video by a host of famous faces who are... yes you guessed it, are all singing by themselves!

8:31pm: David Tennant and Alesha Dixon take over from Davina McCall and Paddy McGuinness as hosts. Lenny Henry continues.

8:32pm: Staged

In a bespoke sketch from the cast of the hit series Staged, David Tennant and Michael Sheen give us "a hysterical historical take on their lockdown series", with a guest appearance from Sir Lenny Henry.

8:37pm: Appeal film about food banks.

8:43pm: A pause to reflect on how coronavirus has impacted on the country.

8:49pm: Normal People vs Fleabag

Comic Relief. The Priest (Andrew Scott). Copyright: BBC

"It's the mash-up you never knew you needed until now!" BBC Three's hugely successful and award-winning Normal People and Fleabag join forces to give us one hot priest and two lovestruck teens in a brilliantly funny and touching confession like no other.

8:56pm: VT about The One Show's egg and spoon challenge.

8:58pm: David Tennant introduces a competition for Carfest.

9:02pm: Joanna Lumley says thanks to Sainsburys.

9:04pm: Video of people paying homage to the music video of Harry Styles' single Treat People With Kindness, featuring Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

9:08pm: Meera Syal presents an appeal film.

9:13pm: Lenny Henry talks about how Comic Relief is aiming to tackle domestic abuse.

9:14pm: A VT looking at Radio 1's fundraising efforts.

9:16pm: Comic Opera

Comic Relief and the English National Opera push Jayde Adams, Andi Osho, Caroline Quentin, Jennifer Saunders and Alex Brooker to their limits in a unique challenge - learning to be opera singers. Getting to grips with this highly skilled classical art form, they have just 24 hours to come together and perform live in front of the entire nation. Thankfully they've got the support of a world-famous mentor, soprano Charlotte Church, and ENO's award-winning Chorus and Orchestra behind them.

9:26pm: Joanna Lumley says thank you to TK Maxx.

9:30pm: Matt Lucas and Gary Barlow duet... both as Gary.

9:31pm: Prince William introduces a film about mental health.

9:37pm: British artist, illustrator and author of The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse, Charlie Mackesy creates a beautiful illustration for Comic Relief.

9:40pm: James Bond and Catherine Tate's Nan

In this exclusive sketch, Britain's best loved OAP Nan has spurned retirement and taken up a part time job as a cleaner. Whilst cleaning the office of the head of the Secret Intelligence Service - aka 'M', she finds herself face to face with 007 as he suddenly appears on screen for his security briefing.

The world's most famous spy is quickly caught up in a line of questioning he has never experienced before - but will the foul mouth senior citizen leave James Bond shaken and stirred?

Catherine Tate says: "Nan had a right old time meeting Bond. What a smashing fella! As ever, it was great fun filming this Comic Relief sketch, huge thanks to Daniel and all the Bond team for being such great sports. I hope it raises lots of money on the night."

9:47pm: Joanna Lumley says thank you to Walkers Crisps.

9:49pm: Appeal film about cancer.

9:55pm: Gabrielle sings Smile.

10pm: A running total of £45,938,942 is revealed.

BBC Two airs an episode of Later With Jools Holland from 10pm to 10:30pm

The presenter chats to actor, comedian and music lover Lenny Henry, who chooses and discusses his favourite performances from the Later archive. Plus, two artists make their debut on the show.

10:35pm - 11:35pm: The Great Comic Relief Prizeathon

Presented by Jason Manford and Amanda Holden, this live extravaganza features special guests, comedy and the chance for viewers to win a number of once-in-a-lifetime prizes, all in support of Comic Relief. Plus music performances from Rag'n'Bone Man, and Joel Corry and RAYE.

Final Total

On Saturday morning a total of £52,025,485 was announced... with more money still to come in.

Lenny Henry said: "Wow. What a night. After 35 years, you'd think I'd be used to it by now; but the feeling you get when you see that figure at the end of the evening is something else. Red Nose Day was always going to be a bit different this year, but tonight we've been able to show just how powerful humour can be by raising an amazing sum of money that'll help so many people in the UK and around the world. Big respect to everyone who's helped - kids, mums, dads, teachers - we love you. From us all, thank you, for your kindness and generosity, and being able to donate when times are so tough right now, thank you. You are going to make such a difference in the world."

Broadcast details

Friday 19th March 2021
240 minutes
  • Friday 19th March 2021, 19:00 at Zoom (Virtual)
  • Friday 19th March 2021, 20:30 at Zoom (Virtual)
  • Friday 19th March 2021, 22:40 at Zoom (Virtual)
  • Thursday 18th March 2021, 12:00 at Zoom (Virtual) (For music video pre-record.)


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Sunday 21st March 2021 12:00pm
60 minute version

Cast & crew

Lenny Henry Host / Presenter
Paddy McGuinness Host / Presenter
David Tennant Host / Presenter
Alesha Dixon Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Davina McCall Host / Presenter
Jason Manford Host / Presenter
Amanda Holden Host / Presenter
Dawn French Geraldine Granger
Russell Brand Joe Wicks
Keira Knightley Woman Who Can't Take It
Carey Mulligan Next Door Neighbour
Anna Friel Woman Who Cuts Hair
Jodie Whittaker The Doctor
Mandip Gill Another Doctor
Sanjeev Bhaskar Next Slide Guy
Himesh Patel Zoom Freeze Guy
Shaun Williamson (as Barry from EastEnders) Zoom Inventor
Olajide Olatunji (as KSI) Bill Gates
Matt Lucas Gary Barlow
Al Murray Local Pub Landlord
Ainsley Harriott Superhero Marcus Rashford
Joan Collins Vaccine Woman
Michael Sheen Covid-19
Olly Dobson Marty McFly
Roger Bart Doc Brown
Courtney-Mae Briggs Jennifer Parker
Catherine Tate Nan
Daniel Craig James Bond
Daisy Edgar-Jones Marianne
Paul Mescal Connell
Andrew Scott The Priest
James Corden Self
Meera Syal Self
Alex Brooker Self
Olivia Colman Self
Emma Thompson Self
David Walliams Self
Emily Atack Self
David Tennant Self
Kate Bottley Self
Sonny Mason Self
Xand van Tulleken Self
Chris Van Tulleken Self
Jodie Whittaker Self
Mandip Gill Self
Victoria Graham Self
Lucy Owen Self
Lee Ridley (as Lost Voice Guy) Self
Kawser Quamer Self
Tom Salmon Self
Riz Lateef Self
Mary Berry Self
Jordan North Self
Andrew Flintoff (as Freddie Flintoff) Self
Chris Harris Self
Gary Barlow Self
Billy Monger Self
James Nesbitt Self
Keira Knightley Self
Jack Whitehall Self
Guz Khan Self
Idris Elba Self
Jonathan Ross Self
Lolly Adefope Self
Anya Taylor-Joy Self
Chris Martin Self
Hugh Grant Self
The Marsh Family Self
Jeff Goldblum Self
Justin Bieber Self
Tim Vine Self
Mel Giedroyc Self
Sue Perkins Self
Ant McPartlin (as Ant & Dec) Self
Declan Donnelly (as Ant & Dec) Self
Romesh Ranganathan Self
David Schwimmer Self
Nick Mohammed Self
Leigh Francis (as Keith Lemon) Self
Andrew Lloyd Webber Self
Dominic Wood (as Dick & Dom) Self
Richard McCourt (as Dick & Dom) Self
Jayne Torvill Self
Christopher Dean Self
Michael Sheen Self
Jayde Adams Self
Andi Osho Self
Caroline Quentin Self
Jennifer Saunders Self
Prince William Self
Louise Gabrielle Bobb (as Gabrielle) Self
Judi Love Self
Sophie Ellis-Bextor Self
Oti Mabuse Self
Shaun Williamson Self
Charlotte Church Self
Freddie Di Tommaso Self
Johannes Radebe Self
Joanna Lumley Narrator


The Vicar Of Dibley performs Juice

Dawn French, as Geraldine Granger, is back with very special guest, Reverend Kate Bottley. She's taking on this year's fundraising challenge set by the villagers, to lip sync to her favourite song of last year, Juice by Lizzo.

Featuring: Dawn French (Geraldine Granger) & Kate Bottley.

2020: The Movie

Starring many special guests, prepare to see your favourite celebrities in the most unlikely roles.

Featuring: Russell Brand (Joe Wicks), Keira Knightley (Woman Who Can't Take It), Carey Mulligan (Next Door Neighbour), Anna Friel (Woman Who Cuts Hair), Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Mandip Gill (Another Doctor), Sanjeev Bhaskar (Next Slide Guy), Himesh Patel (Zoom Freeze Guy), Barry from EastEnders (Zoom Inventor), KSI (Bill Gates), Matt Lucas (Gary Barlow), Al Murray (Local Pub Landlord), Ainsley Harriott (Superhero Marcus Rashford), Joan Collins (Vaccine Woman), Michael Sheen (Covid-19) & Gary Barlow.

Jack Whitehall's Zoom

Jack Whitehall tries to host a Comic Relief Zoom meeting with some of his celebrity friends...

Featuring: Keira Knightley, Jack Whitehall, Guz Khan, Idris Elba, Jonathan Ross, Lolly Adefope, Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Martin & Hugh Grant.


In a bespoke sketch from the cast of the hit series Staged, David Tennant and Michael Sheen give us a historical take on their lockdown series, with a guest appearance from Sir Lenny Henry.

Featuring: Lenny Henry, David Tennant & Michael Sheen.

James Bond vs Nan

James Bond joins a call to talk with M but is surprised to stumble across Nan (Catherine Tate), who is cleaning the office.

Featuring: Catherine Tate (Nan) & Daniel Craig (James Bond).

Tim Vine's Joke In A Box

Tim Vine is on a mission: to reward the men and women of the UK's military forces by spreading a smile!

Featuring: Tim Vine.


Red Nose Day for Comic Relief 2021, review

James Bond and Catherine Tate's Nan shine on hit-and-miss night.

Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 19th March 2021

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