CHRISTMAS DAY
1985

We have lift off!

On Christmas Day, Comic Relief is launched live on BBC One from the Safawa refugee camp in Sudan during Noel Edmonds’ Late Late Breakfast Show. The producer is Helen Fielding (before her Bridget Jones days!).

1985

BT the brilliant!

BT has supported us from day one, making them a huge part of our success.  They provide the telephony, call centres, network management and volunteers that enable us to take millions of pounds of donations.

1985

Oxfam the outstanding

Oxfam has been a partner of Comic Relief since the very beginning. They’ve worked closely with us on projects to tackle poverty and social injustice in Africa, and sold millions of red noses in their shops and online.

8 FEBRUARY
1988

First Red Nose Day

Lenny Henry and a group of children in Ethiopia celebrate the first ever Red Nose Day. Over 150 celebrities and comedians take part as 30 million viewers watch a huge night of TV on the BBC and raise over £15 million.

1991

Rights not charity

We hold an event to give disabled people in the UK a voice in the decisions affecting their lives; “rights not charity” becomes the watch-word and marks a turning point in securing rights for disabled people in the UK.

March 1996
1996

Omnibus special

BBC One’s Omnibus marks Comic Relief’s 10th birthday by giving it a programme all to itself. 2.8 million people tune in.

1999

Super Sainsbury's

Sainsbury’s become one of our leading partners and have since gone on to sell almost 60m red noses, raise an astonishing £48m and set up the Fair Development Fund to help transform the lives of small producers worldwide.

JUNE
2000

Pure Magic

JK Rowling offers to write two Harry Potter books exclusively for Comic Relief. The proceeds from the sales of these have so far conjured up over £17 million.

13 JULY
2002

Out of the blocks

The first ever Sport Relief kicks off and the great British public prove they’re great sports by raising more than £14 million.

2003

Howdy partner

TK Maxx joins the Comic Relief family as a corporate partner (and has been on board ever since).

2005

Senior support

We launch a campaign to draw attention to the plight of older people in the UK who are abused by people they should be able to trust. As a result, Comic Relief takes its first steps into TV drama with a show called Dad.

2009

Top of the world

9 awesome celebs – Gary Barlow, Cheryl Cole, Ronan Keating, Alisha Dixon, Chris Moyles, Denise Van Outen, Kimberley Walsh, Ben Shephard, Fearne Cotton – climb up Mt Kilimanjaro and into our hearts by raising over £3m!

FEBRUARY
2010

We join the jet set

British Airways chooses Comic Relief as its global charity partner – the first partnership to work with Comic Relief that aims to raises money all year round.

2011

Walliams takes the plunge

Sport Relief superstar David Walliams doesn’t just keep his head above water, he swims an astonishing 140 miles along the River Thames for his Sport Relief 2012 Big Splash Challenge 

2012

Week of hell

In John Bishop’s Week of Hell, the comedian goes 290 miles out of his way to raise more than £4 million by cycling, rowing and running from Paris to London in five days.