Ex-Gladiator champ attempts to break a record for Red Nose Day

8th March 2024

  • Weininger Irwin, 60, was the first ever champion of the hit show Gladiators in 1992

  • Irwin is taking on a double fundraiser at the Copper Box Arena; activities include a two-hour row-a-thon followed by an attempt to beat the record for the biggest soul line dance to live music by Junior Giscombe

  • The participants, aged five – 85, aim to raise life changing money for Red Nose Day

  • Money raised could help to put food on plates and roofs over heads, keep little ones safe and help support families affected by conflict and climate change

  • Red Nose Day returns on Friday 15 March

  • To get involved in Red Nose Day this year, visit www.comicrelief.com/rednoseday

Friday 8 March 2024: The first ever champion of the hit show Gladiators, Weininger Irwin, will be hosting a double Red Nose Day fundraiser on Friday 8 March. The special event will see people aged five to 85 take over the Copperbox Arena in London for a two-hour row-a-thon with Cool Rowings, followed by a record breaking attempt at soul line dancing to live music.

Weininger’s fundraiser aims to be a truly inclusive and intergenerational event with primary schools across the capital agreeing to take part alongside senior citizens from Ageless Teenagers. Discussing the event Weininger says:

“We hope that this will be an inclusive activity which embodies what Red Nose Day is all about, bringing people together and putting the ‘fun’ in fundraising. It’s great to get kids at a young age understanding what fundraising is all about. Red Nose Day teaches children compassion in an age-appropriate way, and they addresses such a variety of problems throughout the world."

Cool Rowings, the organisation supporting with the two-hour row-a-thon, has a unique take on the activity. Weininger explains: “We’ll be doing adapted rowing, without a boat or rowing machine with everyone making the rowing motion on mats. It will tick the curriculum requirements for PE, naming muscles used in the activities and understanding how they work.

“The site of the Copper Box Arena is where I took part in my first school sports day, over 50 years ago, so going back for this Red Nose Day fundraiser will be a real ‘wow’ moment for me."

The fundraiser doesn’t stop there, as the group will also be attempting to break the record for the biggest soul line-dance to live music. The live music will be provided by 1980’s favourite Junior who will be performing his song Morning Will Come.

Weininger added: “It’s my third Red Nose Day fundraiser. In 2022 we raised over £4,000 with a 24-hour row-a-thon and, last year, raised £1,000 with a rowing event along the Elizabeth Line on the London Underground.

“I watched Tom Daley’s Hell of a Homecoming challenge and thought it was so impressive. Seeing things like that makes you want to get involved it’s such an inspiration."

Samir Patel, CEO of Comic Relief said: “We love hearing about the incredible things our generous supporters do to fundraise for Red Nose Day. Weininger has already raised fantastic amounts of money for Comic Relief and it’s amazing to see that he is getting involved this year with such a mammoth challenge that’s bringing children and people of all ages together. Good luck Weininger – we’re all rooting for you!”

Samir added: “Money raised will help people going through the toughest times in their lives, here in the UK and around the world. So, whether you get sponsored to do a challenge, buy a Red Nose, host a bake sale, or pick up the phone to donate, we are so thankful for everything you do.” 

Money raised for Red Nose Day could help to put food on plates and roofs over heads, keep little ones safe and help support families affected by conflict and climate change.

This year, Comic Relief is celebrating its heroic, change making fundraisers with The Nosey Awards. Featuring five categories, the awards are open to anyone that fundraised for Red Nose Day between 2021-2024. Entries close on 31 March. To enter visit www.comicrelief.com/Noseys

Red Nose Day returns on 15 March. To find out how you can get involved visit www.comicrelief.com/rednoseday