Stars line up for Comic Relief – what to look out for

Comic Relief 2019 presenters
Image caption A host of stars will be presenting this year’s Comic Relief

Some of Britain’s best-loved TV and film stars will come together in aid of Comic Relief on BBC television later.

The charity telethon, set up by Lenny Henry and Richard Curtis, is shown on BBC One every two years.

The last Comic Relief in 2017 raised more than £71.3m by the end of the night to help vulnerable people in the UK and around the world.

This year, a star-studded line-up will entertain viewers on BBC One from 19:00 GMT and encourage them to donate.

It then switches to BBC Two during the Ten O’Clock News, returning to BBC One from 22:35 GMT to 00:30 GMT.

Hosts will include Lenny Henry, David Tennant, Zoe Ball, Emma Willis, Romesh Ranganathan, Paddy McGuinness and Alesha Dixon.

Louis Tomlinson has pulled out his planned performance following his sister’s death.

Here are some of the highlights viewers can expect this evening.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Yet Again

Image caption Jennifer Saunders steps into Meryl Streep’s shoes, with help from Alan Carr

This Abba musical sequel spoof is written by and stars Jennifer Saunders.

It comes a decade after Saunders sent up the first Mamma Mia film for Comic Relief.

The cast features a host of celebrities including Alan Carr (as Colin Firth’s Harry), Gemma Arterton (as Lily James’s Young Donna) and Sue Perkins (as the film’s producer).

You can see Carey Mulligan (as Amanda Seyfried’s Sophie) interacting with Miranda Hart, who’s playing the director, here.

One Red Nose Day and a Wedding

Image caption What will have become of the characters a quarter of a century on?

The evening will also feature the heavily trailed and highly anticipated One Red Nose Day and a Wedding – Richard Curtis’s sequel to his smash hit Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Curtis wrote the script for the short film and Mike Newell has returned to direct.

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Media captionWatch Hugh Grant and Dame Kristin Scott Thomas in the Four Weddings sequel

Most of the original cast have come back and will be joined by some new faces, including actress Lily James, Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid and a mystery wedding singer.

Richard Madden returns to Bodyguard

Image caption Bodyguard’s David Budd (Richard Madden) has a new assignment

He didn’t do the greatest job of looking after the home secretary in BBC One’s smash hit thriller, but Bodyguard’s David Budd (Richard Madden) will be back in action for Comic Relief.

This time his mission is to protect the Red Nose.

Madden will be joined by Bodyguard co-stars Gina McKee and Vincent Franklin plus comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar, with a script written by Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio.

Alan Partridge takes to the streets of Norwich

Image caption Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) will be helping out fund-raising efforts

Things are looking up for Steve Coogan’s long-running comedy character Alan Partridge. The North Norfolk Digital DJ is the new presenter of BBC One’s This Time.

He’s hoping to capitalise on his TV comeback as he tries to raise money on the streets of Norwich with his trusty sidekick Simon Denton (Tim Key).

Comic Relief Does University Challenge

Image caption Darren Harriott, Vick Hope and Jason Manford team up for a special edition of University Challenge

Comic Relief switches to BBC Two at 22:00 GMT, where there will be a special edition of University Challenge.

Guest host David Baddiel will be offering starters for 10 to celebrities including Emily Atack, Martin Freeman, Kerry Godliman, Darren Harriott, Vick Hope, Jason Manford, Luisa Omielan and Judge Rinder.

Special performances

Image copyright Oliver Rosser/Feast Creative/Neil Reading PR
Image caption Tom Bennett (Del Boy), Paul Whitehouse (Grandad), Ryan Hutton (Rodney) and the cast of Only Fools and Horses: The Musical will be singing

Viewers will see performances from the casts of Only Fools and Horses: The Musical and Magic Mike Live.

Plus, the cast of Mischief Theatre will perform a live magic trick.

Some special programmes have already been shown

Image copyright PA
Image caption Two teams of celebrities tried to impress Lord Sugar and his assistants

If you missed Lord Sugar putting 10 celebrities through their paces for Celebrity Apprentice For Comic Relief, you can watch it now on the BBC iPlayer.

Ten years since the first Red Nose Day climb of Kilimanjaro, a new batch of famous faces, including Strictly judge Shirley Ballas and BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker, trained to walk up Africa’s highest mountain.

A show about their climb – Kilimanjaro: The Bigger Red Nose Climb – was broadcast on Wednesday and you can watch it here.

Strictly Come Dancing hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman took on a gruelling danceathon challenge in the run-up to Red Nose Day, with coverage streamed live on the red button.

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