Comic Relief to return for BBC's coronavirus Big Night In show

Tuesday 7th April 2020, 10:08am

  • BBC One is to broadcast The Big Night In on Thursday 23rd April
  • The show sees Comic Relief teaming up with Children In Need for the first time
  • Comedians will "offer some light relief and entertainment" in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic
The Big Night In.

BBC One is to broadcast The Big Night In, a show reacting to the coronavirus crisis, involving Comic Relief and Children In Need.

The corporation confirms: "The BBC is celebrating the acts of kindness, humour and the spirit of hope and resilience that is keeping the nation going during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic with a special night of programming for BBC One.

"The Big Night In will see the BBC's biggest charitable partners, BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief, coming together for the very first time for a special night of television."

The first four stars to be involved have been confirmed as Sir Lenny Henry, Peter Kay, Catherine Tate, and Take That's Gary Barlow.

Producers say the show "will offer some light relief and entertainment", whilst "celebrating and rewarding those going the extra mile to support their communities in these troubled times".

They explain: "The star-studded show will feature some of the country's favourite famous faces trying to support, entertain, cheer up and help out anyone who needs any or all of those things. It will include big surprises, 'money can't buy' prizes, live music performances (from the artists' homes) and many of your favourite faces coming together (whilst safely apart) to do what they can for those that deserve something special.

"The show will also give viewers the opportunity to donate, for those who feel able to do so, to help support vulnerable people of all ages and backgrounds across the UK who will be significantly impacted by the crisis. Funds raised on the night will be split equally between BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief to provide essential support to local charities, projects and programmes across the UK to help those most in need. This funding will not only provide vital emergency support to ensure vulnerable people of all ages are safe, warm and fed, but will also ensure that they are able to continue to learn, and stay connected in order to combat isolation and loneliness.

"Broadcast live, while respecting all current social isolating government protocols, this will be Britain's Big Night In, as we stay at home to help beat the coronavirus. It's a time to all come together and celebrate our incredible community heroes and hear from the people who need us the most during this challenging time."

Charlotte Moore from the BBC says: "BBC One will bring the nation together for this special one-off live charity event. I would like to thank both BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief for joining forces in these unprecedented times to provide their support to local charities, projects and programmes across the whole UK; and to all of the stars taking part in this unmissable night of entertainment when the country needs it most."

UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden says: "The Big Night In is a fantastic way to channel the amazing outpouring of generosity we are seeing from the British people. It's brilliant to see BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief coming together for the first time to ensure help gets to those that need it most, and to celebrate those who are going above and beyond in their communities. We're working with the BBC and others to ensure this event is a huge success. As government develops further measures, we will work together to coordinate our efforts in the battle against coronavirus and remind everyone to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives."

Ruth Davison from Comic Relief comments: "Throughout this extraordinary time the kindness and community spirit of people across the country has been outstanding. The Big Night In is the perfect opportunity to praise the heroes who are caring for us, feeding us, and lifting our spirits as we continue to help people most in need."

The show will be broadcast on BBC One on Thursday 23rd April from 7 to 10pm. Details on the comedians involved will be revealed nearer the time.

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