Entertainment & Arts

Comic Relief: £74.3m total sets Red Nose Day record

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Media captionHighlights from Comic Relief 2011

Comic Relief has raised £74.3m, the highest figure reached on the night of the show in its 23-year history.

Adele, Alan Partridge, Annie Lennox and The Inbetweeners are among those to have appeared in the BBC One show.

Spoof band Fake That, comprising David Walliams, John Bishop, Catherine Tate, James Corden and Alan Carr, auditioned in front of the original Take That.

The show also featured special episodes of EastEnders, Doctor Who and Outnumbered.

The government has pledged £10m to go toward health and education in Africa. More than £40m has been raised so far.

Prime Minister David Cameron appeared in a Masterchef sketch in which he was served a three-course meal by Miranda Hart, Ruby Wax and Claudia Winkleman.

In 2007, former prime minister Tony Blair famously appeared opposite Catherine Tate's Lauren Cooper character, known for her "Am I bovvered?" catchphrase.

The government's contribution to this year's fundraiser matches Comic Relief's own commitment to spend £10m on health and education in Africa.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said: "Even in these tough economic times, the British public has given an incredible response to Comic Relief's appeal, showing yet again their compassion and generosity."

He added: "The government will come in behind the public's effort, to support and amplify the choices that British people have made."

Smithy and Macca

About his role in Fake That, David Walliams said: "Being in a boy band for the day was really tiring.

"We had to do all the dance moves. But when Take That did it they were like 22 - I'm 39, and I just thought, 'I can't handle this.'"

Walliams had already completed the 24-hour Panel People marathon in aid of Comic Relief, which saw him take part in back-to-back celebrity panel shows.

James Corden revived his Gavin and Stacey character Smithy, chairing a meeting of stars including Sir Paul McCartney, Keira Knightley and another ex-prime minister, Gordon Brown.

Meanwhile, Lord Prescott read BBC Radio 4's shipping forecast.

The former deputy prime minister's guest slot on the bulletin was offered to him after he made a joke on Twitter, that as he was doing an interview for The World Tonight show, he might as well stay on to do the shipping forecast.

The Comic Relief programme is the culmination of weeks of fund-raising events with stars raising money for projects across the UK and in developing countries.

The Comic Relief telethon in 2009 raised £82.3m over the whole event.

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Media captionWatch: Lizo Mzimba looks back at Comic Relief 2011

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