BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief have raised £27,398,675 through last night’s The Big Night In.
This was the first time the two charities, the BBC’s biggest charitable partners, had come together for a special night of television.
The UK Government has said it will match fund pound for pound donations to The Big Night In appeal, with a minimum donation of £20m to the National Emergencies Trust, and any funds raised over £20m also to be matched and split equally between BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief.
The three-hour show was hosted on BBC One by Davina McCall, Lenny Henry, Matt Baker, Paddy McGuinness and Zoe Ball and saw many famous faces taking part, including the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who all participated in the weekly ‘Clap For Our Carers’.
Prince William also featured in an exclusive Blackadder comedy sketch starring Stephen Fry as the grandson of General Melchett counselling the Duke on home-schooling via a video call.
The Big Night In featured a number of other comedy sketches from Little Britain, Miranda, The Vicar of Dibley, Romesh Ranganathan, Joe Wicks, Doctor Who, amongst others, and there was also the first play of the Radio 1 Stay Home Live Lounge video featuring musicians including Dave Grohl and 5 Seconds of Summer, Anne-Marie, Bastille, Celeste, Chris Martin, Paloma Faith, Rag’n’Bone Man, Rita Ora, Royal Blood, and Sam Fender with their cover of Foo Fighters’ Times Like These.
Other musical performances includes Matt Lucas and The BBC Concert Orchestra performing The Baked Potato Song, and there were also appearances from Judi Dench, Sting, Marry Berry, Maya Jama, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Stephen Merchant and others.
The money raised will go on to support local charities and projects in the UK working to provide emergency support during the coronavirus pandemic.
Appeal films looked at the impact that Covid-19 has had on families up and down the country and the vital work partners are doing to help. The films tackled hunger, domestic violence and isolation and showed how everyday heroes are helping to get medicines and food to those who can’t leave the house.
Peter Davey, Executive Producer BBC Studios, said:
“It has been an amazing experience and somewhat of a challenge producing the show. Being able to bring these two major charities together and such a phenomenal array of artists to entertain the nation, recognise the exceptional work people are doing and raising funds to help those that need it, has been a real privilege.”
Ruth Davison, Chief Executive of Comic Relief, added:
“This amazing show has helped lift the spirits of the nation and delivered much-needed light relief whilst highlighting the spirit of resilience and kindness we have seen throughout the country. I want to thank every single person who tuned in to watch this incredible show and everyone who was able to donate during this unprecedented time. This funding will help projects around the country that are doing vital work to support vulnerable, isolated people throughout the pandemic.”
As well as individual donations, the appeal has attracted a number of large contributions from businesses. O2 has given £1m, while Sainsbury’s, Argos, Habitat and Nectar customers have so far raised over £1.5 million in two weeks for the charities, with Sainsbury’s encouraging further customer donations, and matching all donations made in-store and online until 1 May.
Mike Coupe, Chief Executive Officer at Sainsbury’s, said:
“We’re incredibly thankful for the donations from our customers and colleagues and are overwhelmed by the generosity displayed in what continues to be a challenging time. We’re proud to match the £1.5 million already raised in-store and online, bringing the total donated to Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need to over £3 million.”
Barclays has also donated £1m to The Big Night In and is matching customer donations up to up to a total of another £1 million, while Apple CEO Tim Cook made an appearance on the show and said that Apple would be waiving royalties on the single Times Like These, and would also be making a ‘significant donation’ of its own.