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Sport Relief raises record £50m

The Sport Relief fundraising extravaganza has raised a record on-the-night total of £50 million.

The figure was announced at the end of the charity marathon at 1.30am.

Host Fearne Cotton said: "What an amazing, stunning total. We always hope to beat the previous amount, but to do it so spectacularly is just incredible. Huge thanks to the British public who, once again, have shown enormous generosity to help those in need."

The total sum was confirmed as £50,447,197 which was £21 million more than the amount raised last year. The star-studded BBC show featured comic sketches with athletes and feats of endurance from celebrities.

Comic Miranda Hart battled Tim Henman in a tennis game that ended when she was 'knocked out' by her on-screen mother Patricia Hodge, while a one-off special of sitcom Outnumbered featured Frank Lampard and Christine Bleakley in an encounter with the Brockman family.

England footballers Rob Green, Glen Johnson, Theo Walcott and current captain Scott Parker took on Saturday Kitchen presenter and celebrity chef James Martin in a special edition of the BBC One show's Omelette Challenge, with defender Johnson emerging as the winner - despite a few broken shells.

And fashion-mad duo Edina and Patsy also made a return to the small screen with a one-off special of Absolutely Fabulous, with Kate Moss, Stella McCartney, Linford Christie and Colin Jackson all putting in cameos in the sitcom.

Comedian Frank Skinner overcame a lifelong phobia of water by swimming 25 metres to raise money for Sport Relief. Other appearances included the stars of ITV comedy Benidorm on a special edition of Britain's Got Talent and performances from boyband JLS, LMFAO and Snow Patrol.

The UK Government will match £10 million of public donations to Sport Relief, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced.

BT handled 260,000 calls from viewers across the country during the Sport Relief programme. Beth Courtier, community investment programme manager at BT, said: "Sport Relief is a very important cause and BT has been providing support to Comic Relief since the first ever Red Nose Day in 1985. We are in a unique position to assist charity telethons and are proud to be using our technology and network expertise to help raise as much as possible for Sport Relief this year."

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