Red Nose Day: Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch launch 2021 campaign

2021 telethon will include The Vicar of Dibley and Staged specials

Isobel Lewis
Tuesday 02 February 2021 10:32
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Red Nose Day 2021 launch video.mp4

Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch have taken part in the launch video for Red Nose Day 2021.

Comic Relief announced on Tuesday (2 February) that this year’s event would be going ahead on Friday 19 March, marking 35 years since the first Red Nose Day in 1986.

The 2021 event has been given the tagline: “Funny is power” and will include a live TV special hosted by Alesha Dixon, David Tennant, Davina McCall, Paddy McGuinness and Lenny Henry.

While the full line-up of performances and sketches is yet to be announced, we do know that Dawn French will make a cameo in The Vicar of Dibley, while David Tennant and Michael Sheen will be starring in a Staged special.

In the launch video, stars including Joe Lycett, Katherine Ryan, Mo Gilligan and Shappi Khorsandi came together to discuss the impact comedy had had on them, both in the pandemic and beyond.

“I think laughter is a panacea, it has always been a national medicine,” Cumberbatch said. “I think people reached out for it in lockdown, it was a comedy rather than a tragedy that people first went for.”

Comic Relief co-founder Henry then explained that Red Nose Day would naturally be “different” this year, but added that laughter had “the power to connect people” in tough times.

“We know that it’s hard financially for so many people right now, but we’d love you to join us – even if it’s just to share a laugh,” he said. “If we raise some money along the way then brilliant. We know that when times are tough, laughter can really make a difference.”

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