diamond geezer

 Friday, March 14, 2003

red nose dayComic Relief (but is it Comic?)

Since 1985 Comic Relief has raised more than £250 million in its mission to help end poverty and social injustice. Today is the eighth Red Nose Day, and I'm proud to say that I own the complete set of eight smelly / colour-changing / squeaky / hairy / etc red noses. But is Red Nose Night funny? I've decided to sacrifice my social life tonight to stay in, watch the TV comedy extravaganza and report back on how hilarious it isn't is.

7:00 Jonathan Ross opens the show wearing a huge red wig. He looks unintentionally like Cilla Black with a quiff.
7:15 French and Saunders do Harry Potter, brilliantly. I could happily sit through seven lots of three hours of that.
7:25 The first of the heart-tugging films from Africa. Good to see that Comic relief's £250 million is being well spent.
7:30 Gareth Gates sings this year's song. It only just beats the Comic Relief nadir that was 'The Stonk', but surely nothing will ever top the excellence that was Bananarama and LaNaNeeNeeNooNoo.
7:45 Carol Vordeman allows Mr Kipling to pay £¼m for a one minute BBC1 prime time advert for cherry bakewells.
7:55 EastEnders metamorphoses to be cheerful and optimistic, as Shane Richie leads the Square 'Singing In The Rain'.
8:05 Jack Dee is stuck up a pole. Vanessa Feltz serenades him from a gondola. She sounds even worse than the idea was.
8:15 Celebrity Driving School results are in, and every single one of the celebrities failed. First side-splitting laugh of the night.
8:30 Ant and Dec take over and it all falls a bit flat. It feels a lot like ITV1 Saturday night prime time.
9:00 Heat magazine mascots Jack Ryder and Kym Marsh revive Mrs and Mrs with a hypnotic twist (but alas not Derek Batey).
9:15 Will Mellor's future granny-pop career is launched by Celebrity Fame Academy. He's Robson and Jerome rolled into one.
9:30 Vic and Bob aim surreally right over the heads of the target audience, but hit home here.
9:45 Auf Wiedershen Pet (with guest stars U2) aim straight at the heads of the target audience, and right under mine.
10:00 Over to BBC2 for degree-level gownies beaten by sub-O-Level dropouts in a Deayton-hosted University Challenge.
10:35 Jonathan Ross insults children and uses the f-word twice, a great way to get viewers to pledge money for poor kids.
10:45 Robbie Williams sits stark naked on a sofa with tucked-away tackle for a full frontal 15 seconds. And you missed it.
10:50 Rowan and Lenny mercilessly spoof the Jackson-Bashir interview. Second side-splitting laugh of the night.
11:05 Davina does Celebrity Streetmate. A Big Brother winner and an ex Spice Girl? Obviously a loose definition of celebrity.
11:20 Coldplay sing. A major improvement on the 'soapstars sing show tunes' we used to have foisted on us on past RNDs.
11:30 Ricky Gervais doesn't do his Office Comic Relief dance. Mistake, because his video diary is only 5% as funny.
12:00 Rob Brydon of Marion & Geoff delivers a monologue about divorce with ad-libs to the audience - this is real talent.
12:15 Our host for the rest of the night is Graham Norton. The tone lowers by about three notches.
12:35 Ten top hairdressers plan to turn ten members of the studio audience into ten Freddie Ljungbergs. Red Stripe anyone?
12:45 The total raised tops £30million, and I think it's safe to go to bed now. Don't worry, I've set the video for the rest...
1:00 The highlights of a week in the Fame Academy, surprisingly entertaining, but would've been better scheduled at 9pm.
1:15 A troupe of 5 bus drivers sitting in the audience do the full Full Monty standing in the audience. Graham sneaks a look.
1:20 A brilliant spoof of mid-80s Blankety Blank, and nowhere near long enough. Third side-splitting laugh of the night.
1:40 The final on-the-night total is £35,174,798. Who cares if it hasn't all been funny if they/we can raise that much?
2:30 My video was timed to switch off twenty minutes after the scheduled end of the programme. Unfortunately they extended it, and the tape cuts out just before they replay Dermot and Cat betowelled in a sauna from a few Red Nose Days ago. Suddenly it's not so comic any more. And no chance for relief. See you back here in two years time then.

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