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What Is Red Nose Day?

Updated on June 10, 2009

The Red Nose Day was established by Comic Relief as a charity organisation in the United Kingdom. This day started in 1985 as a response to help the famine in Ethiopia. Richard Curtis is the scriptwriter for Comic Relief. The first launching of this event occurred on Christmas Day for noel Edmond’s Late, Late Breakfast show for the BBC. They aired in a refugee camp in Sudan. The original idea for the show came from Jane Tewson, who was a charity worker at the time.

Since the 80s, this charity has raised over 600 million pounds, selling merchandise and taking contributions. The Red Nose Day is the primary method of raising funds for Comic Relief. It is considered to be a holiday and occurs every other spring. When this event takes place a live telethon begins on BBC One in the evening and continues into the early hours of the next day. This is not the only money raising event that occurs for Red Nose Day though.  

On Red Nose Day people wear plastic or foam red noses to support the cause. People can obtain a red nose by giving a donation at Oxfam or Sainsbury’s shops. Red Nose Day is not a recognised holiday in the United States but people in the U.S. can give donations by watching BBC on television and giving their support in this fashion.

When the Red Nose Day programming begins for Comic Relief it starts in the afternoon. Various reports will begin, money raising events, with usually a celebrity to host. This occurs throughout regular programming and does not interrupt any of the broadcasting until after the six o’clock news. A live show for Red Nose Day begins and is aired on BBC One, BBC News at 10, and BBC Two. There are many themes that take part throughout the airing of Comic Relief which include different comedy shows, sketches, and more.

Since 1999, Comic Relief has been on the air for BBC One and Two. The number of viewers has increased from 6.8 million viewers to almost 10 million on BBC One. On BBC Two, in 1999 3.1 million viewers watched the show and today a little over 10 million viewers watched the 2009 relief. Steadily picking up in viewers the donations have gathered millions of pounds to help famine in Ethiopia and is proving to be very successful.

One of the ways to gather money for Comic relief is by selling merchandise to the public. There are many different items that people can buy. A book was published to raise awareness and funds for the issue titled, The total Stonking, Surprisingly Educational And Utterly Mindboggling Comic Relief Comic.  This was written by four people; Peter K. Hogan, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, and Richard Curtis. Some of Britain’s most famous writers are included in this book. When this book sold for the first time it sold out in a matter of minutes making thousands of pounds towards the charity.

Another way that people were able to donate money to the Red Nose Day event included a computer platform designed in 1993 called the Sleepwalker. The theme for the game was tomatoes and Comic Relief and the two voices heard on the game were from Lenny Henry and Harry Enfield.

The red nose is one of the things that many people receive when they donate money to Comic Relief, hence the name Red Nose Day. However, large ears were also a big seller in 2007, called walk-ears. This actually made fun of an old joke that people thought was very amusing linking an ex football player named Gary Lineker who used to front the campaign for Comic Relief.  

Do Something Funny For Money

In 2007 there was a game known as Let it Flow which was very popular during Red Nose Day also. This was a thinking game online that had people follow through a story about how hyenas had destroyed the water irrigation system for crops and you have to figure out how to rearrange the pipes to make the water properly flow again. An elephant’s trunk is used to pump the water through the pipes and this is a very creative game.

Toy puppies with red noses were another popular give away in 2007 that brought in big donations. Many people wanted the toy. They were Labrador puppies which fronted the campaign. The name of this campaign was called Andrex.

On Red Nose Day the public is encouraged to wear their red noses to raise awareness of the famine in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa and to show their support. The red nose has changed in design over the years from a plain one, one with arms, a tomato, and even various noses, different in colour. Some people wear huge foam noses while others wear normal small sized ones. In 2009, the newest and largest nose was unveiled being 6 metres in diameter and this was inflatable.

In the United States the Comic Relief was founded in 1986 and is supported also. This event is held by Home Box Office or HBO and has raised over 50 million dollars. The Comic Relief charity in the United States doesn’t raise money for the famine in Africa. Instead, the charities are donated to health care services for homeless people. Many famous celebrities take part in this event in the U.S. which include Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and more.

Many other countries take part in Red Nose Day for Comic Relief and donate the charities to various places. Australia raises money for sudden infant death syndrome. Germany gives their donations to PowerChild. Russia holds a campaign called Red Nose, Kind Heart and the proceeds go to children that are afflicted with things like heart disease. Finland takes part in a Red Nose Day also.

Red Nose Day has become a big event around the world for Comic Relief. What started out as a charity for famine in Africa, countries around the world raise money for many different charities. This is a big event and to honour the event people wear a red nose and donate money.

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