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Red Nose Day raises record £74m

A record £74 million had been raised for Comic Relief as the BBC's Red Nose Day extravaganza drew to a close.

A host of famous faces, including David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Susan Boyle and a quintet of comedians spoofing Take That, helped entertain viewers during the night.

The total so far - £74,360,207 - is the most raised on the night in Red Nose Day's 23-year history, and the figure is likely to rise.

One TV comedy sketch saw Gavin and Stacey star James Corden, in character as Smithy, pick up singer George Michael in his car as he tried to rally celebrities for a trip for Africa. The skit also saw ex-PM Mr Brown dancing along with boy band JLS.

On Friday night the Government pledged £10 million to Comic Relief as Mr Cameron did his bit to help by making an appearance in a sketch.

The Prime Minister followed in the footsteps of his predecessor Tony Blair when he featured in the BBC One Red Nose Day extravaganza in a MasterChef skit. Showing off his acting skills, Mr Cameron made approving noises as "chefs" Miranda Hart, Ruby Wax and Claudia Winkleman served him a three-course meal.

Winkleman's chilli con carne had tough competition though. The Prime Minister said: "My wife does a fantastic chilli con carne. It's one of her specialities." And he confessed that Hart's gummy bear-topped trifle was so alcoholic he felt the need to lie down afterwards.

The funding promised by the Government on this year's Red Nose Day will go towards Comic Relief's work in improving health and education across Africa. Its contribution matched Comic Relief's own commitment to spend £10 million in these areas.

Other highlights of Red Nose Day included comedians Alan Carr, Catherine Tate, David Walliams, Corden and John Bishop becoming would-be boy band Fake That, auditioned by real band Take That. Another saw comedian Peter Kay, in character as singer Geraldine McQueen, team up with Britain's Got Talent star Susan Boyle for a duet. And viewers also watched Kim Cattrall, Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley and Victoria Wood join forces for Uptown Downstairs Abbey - a spoof of the hit drama.

On Friday, Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles set a new world record by staying on air for more than 50 hours and raised more than £2 million for Comic Relief in the process. The star started his broadcast on Radio 1 with sidekick "Comedy" Dave Vitty on Wednesday morning and finally came off air at 10.30am on Friday.

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