Red Nose Day on the night fundraising around half pre pandemic levels

Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day telethon event this year raised just under £32m on the night, around half the figure from 2019’s event, the last before the Covid pandemic.

Last Friday’s event on BBC One raised £31,952,141 on the night, substantially down on the £63.5m raised four years ago.

It is also down on 2022’s tally of £42.8m and the previous year’s on the night total of £52m.

The telethon’s peak was in 2015, when it raised £78m on the night.

By today the total raised for 2023 since Friday had risen to £35,310,407.

This latest fundraising decline comes as Comic Relief’s annual report for the year ending July 2022 revealed a fall in income, from £74m in 2020/21 to £50m in 2021/2022.

This year’s event featured celebrities including AJ Odudu, David Tennant, Joel Dommett, Paddy McGuiness and Zoe Ball and featured comedy sketches, live music and prizes.

“We are completely overwhelmed by the generosity of the public and our partners this Red Nose Day, " said Comic Relief chief executive Samir Patel.

"To have raised such a significant sum during the cost-of-living crisis, with money still coming in, shows the kindness of our country. It is a challenging time to fundraise and will continue to be for some time."

He added: "It has been a difficult few years for ourselves and the wider charity sector – with the uncertain financial climate, impact of the war against Ukraine, continued Covid recovery and rising cost of living.

"Despite these challenges, we are proud to have raised such an incredible amount of money to support people facing the toughest times of their lives.”

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