It’s the charity event that, every two years since 1988, encourages people across the UK to raise money to change lives both at home and in Africa. The aim is to ‘do something funny for money’ and the weeks of attention grabbing activities and fundraising culminate in a night of comedy and emotional personal stories on TV – this year’s Red Nose Day telethon is taking place tonight.
Of course, in order to raise as much awareness and money as possible, many of the activities begin in advance and we’ve rounded up a few that have grabbed our attention in recent days and weeks.
Red Nose Day Actually
One of the most anticipated Comic Relief activities this year is the Love Actually reunion – a ten minute glimpse at the current situations of some of the nation’s favourite rom-com characters 13 years on, including Hugh Grant as the PM and Andrew Lincoln as that guy you thought was pretty romantic at first but in hindsight feel might just be a bit of a creep (you can’t tell your best friend’s wife you love her weeks after their wedding, come on mate)
Red Nose Day TK Maxx collaboration
This isn’t the first year that TK Maxx has been the official retailer of Red Nose Day’s fundraising t-shirt range, but this year the t-shirts are particularly appealing, due to a partnership with famous photographer Rankin and some cute images of animals.
The shirts are manufactured in Africa and made with Fairtrade cotton, and getting Game of Thrones’ star actress Maisie Williams to model and promote the range is bound to garner a heap of extra purchases.
Nothing gets people talking like an innovative app to download, and this year’s tongue-in-cheek Swear Jar app has done just that. The app was launched with a 45 second advert featuring some of British TV and film’s most classic swears – including Blackadder and The King’s Speech.
Essentially, you can download the app and choose how much you’d like to donate in total, and then every time you swear over the next ten minutes or so, the app will recognise it and donate 20p on your behalf. We’d recommend maybe not choosing to donate via this method at work or on a busy train home, although Comic Relief do say the app works best in quieter atmospheres, like a library or a church.
Influencer marketing is a big thing these days and you can barely scroll down on LinkedIn without coming across another article professing to know the best way to go about it. No surprises then that Comic Relief are taking full advantage of the clout that some of these bloggers and vloggers have – some of them are appearing in the #RedNoseDayActually short film and Tanya Burr is offering a prize as part of the ‘Best Auction Ever’ fundraiser
There was also a YouTuber specific activity taking place on March 12th – the #RedOut, where some of YouTube’s biggest personalities went offline to raise awareness of the injustices that vulnerable young people can face.
Some people argued online that this was a bad decision, as people can do more to raise awareness about something by talking about it, rather than just disappearing offline – but there’s no doubt that it had a striking effect and got people talking about the stunt – even outside the vloggers’ already massive combined audience.
Make sure you tune into Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day from 7pm tonight on BBC One and donate what you can here (or download the Swear Jar app if you’d prefer a more profanity laden option)