Red Nose Day 2021 launched by stars including Dame Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch

Amy Johnson
·2-min read
Sir Lenny Henry attends a photocall for BBC One's "The Long Song" at Soho Hotel on December 11, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Sir Lenny Henry attends a photocall for BBC One's "The Long Song" at Soho Hotel on December 11, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Red Nose Day 2021 has officially been launched with help from stars including Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch.

The fundraising event returns next month and will feature the Share a Smile initiative, which aims to bring the country together using humour.

Comic Relief co-founder Sir Lenny Henry is also on board supporting the cause, along with comedians Mo Gilligan, Shappi Khorsandi and Joe Lycett.

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For the launch, they've appeared in a short film discussing how comedy has helped them in their lives.

Watch: Celebrities help launch Red Nose Day 2021

In the video, Dame Judi remarks: “I have just got myself into trouble more times than I can tell you by laughing in very serious moments.”

Meanwhile, Cumberbatch states: “I think laughter is a panacea, it is and has always been a national medicine.”

Money raised this year will go towards tackling issues such as homelessness, domestic abuse and the stigma around mental health.

Funds will also be donated to support those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sir Lenny said in the film: “We all need cheering up, so this year Red Nose Day will be a bit different.

Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch have helped launch Red Nose Day 2021. (Jacqui Black/Comic Relief/PA)
Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch have helped launch Red Nose Day 2021. (Jacqui Black/Comic Relief/PA)

“Of course we want to raise as much money as possible for people who really need it in the UK and around the world.

“But we also want to make you smile and bring you some laughter over the coming weeks!”

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The telethon is set to take place on 19 March and will include sketches, live performances and one-off comedy specials on BBC One.

The evening will be hosted by Alesha Dixon, David Tennant, Davina McCall, Paddy McGuinness as well as Sir Lenny.

Viewers will see Dawn French feature in another Vicar of Dibley special as well as Tennant and Michael Sheen in the comedy Staged, with more yet to be revealed.

With additional reporting by PA.

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