Comic Relief hits £1 billion live on Red Nose Day night of TV

Lenny Henry and Russell Brand announce the total

Red Nose Day 2015 has reached a landmark moment in the history of Comic Relief, as the total amount raised by the UK public over the last 30 years hits £1 billion this weekend. 

Richard Curtis, founder and vice chair of Comic Relief, said: “This is a genuinely moving moment for me.  When a bunch of comedians got together all those years ago we never imagined the extent to which the British public would embrace the idea of helping millions of others who they will never meet.  It’s an extraordinary thing that we do in Britain and I’m enormously proud to be part of it."

Since 1985, the money raised has helped over 50 million people in the UK and across the world’s poorest communities. This includes over three million people affected by HIV, six million people affected by malaria, two million children who have now been vaccinated against deadly diseases, and the 250,000 children who have been able to access education in Africa.

In the UK, since Comic Relief began, the money raised has reached more than 10 million people in the UK.  This funding has helped to make disadvantaged people safer, more secure, more resilient and have better mental health. Highlights include helping to establish the first and only National 24-hour Domestic Violence Helpline which has received over 1.3 million calls, and support work which has encouraged nearly 3 million people to view mental health more positively, enabling those affected to be more open and seek help earlier.  

Richard Curtis said: "Thank you to every single person who has ever done their bit over the last 30 years. And thank you from all those people who will never have the chance to thank you themselves.”

Watch Lenny announcing the news.