Red Nose Day is officially back this year and is being launched by some famous faces - including Oldham's own Nick Grimshaw - ahead of the big day which will be filmed live from Salford.

The charity fundraising day is returning to our screens this Friday, March 15, to help tackle poverty and provide food, essential healthcare or safe shelter for people across the country and around the world.

To celebrate its hotly anticipated return, several A-list celebs have starred in a new comedy sketch, including Oldham's Nick Grimshaw, Alison Hammond, Davina McCall, Dame Joan Collins, Rosie Jones, Simon Cowell and Sir Lenny Henry.

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The sketch shows the celebs answering a call from Comic Relief co-founder, Sir Lenny Henry, who calls on his famous friends to find out how they're going to do their bit to raise life-changing money for the big day.

This who's who of a sketch features the Queen of Birmingham and the 'Hunniest of Huns', Alison Hammond toying with ways she can do something hun-ey for money and Bridgerton star, Jonathan Bailey taking on a 24-hour singing challenge.

Acting royalty Dame Joan Collins says she is going to new heights for Red Nose Day by taking on a sponsored skydive, while Simon Cowell is set to listen to his fellow Britain’s Got Talent judge, Amanda Holden’s cover album for a whole week on repeat.

Meanwhile, Nick Grimshaw considers a sponsored silence for an episode of his hit podcast series.

The exclusive sketch can be viewed on YouTube and hopes to inspire people across the country to do something funny for money this Red Nose Day and help spread joy, raise spirits, and much-needed funds. 

Nick Grimshaw said: “Red Nose Day is a special cause to me because I have such good memories of it – I just loved watching it on the telly when I was a kid and I loved that feeling of everyone doing something together for the greater good.

The Oldham Times: Oldham's Nick Grimshaw has some ideas how he will raise money for the charityOldham's Nick Grimshaw has some ideas how he will raise money for the charity (Image: Rebecca Naen/Comic Relief)

"I liked the feeling of everyone at school being involved, everyone in your street being involved, everyone around the country all watching the same night of TV and donating.”  

The BBC One night of entertainment is due to come on our screens, live from Salford, on Friday March 15,  promising an unmissable evening of comedy, live performances and one-off surprises.

The night is due to be extra special as it will be the last time Sir Lenny will host the show after almost four decades as the leader of "laughter" which raised more than £1.5 billion for Comic Relief.

Some of the nation's favourite comedians will be taking to the stage for a one-off evening of live comedy at the London Palladium on Monday, February 26, to pay homage to Comic Relief's 39 years of fundraising.

The initiative returns at a difficult time for people across the UK, with millions facing impossible choices just to get by, and the impact of poverty, conflict and climate change is being felt further and wider than ever before.

The show also comes as alarming new figures pinpoint Oldham as one of the worst-hit areas for poverty, especially child poverty, across the country.

The Oldham Times: A night of live comedy will be held at the London Palladium this FebruaryA night of live comedy will be held at the London Palladium this February (Image: Daniel Loveday/Comic Relief)

Comic Relief co-founder, Sir Lenny Henry, said: “When we first started Comic Relief back in 1985, I never dreamed we’d still be here today.

"I thought we’d probably do three shows and that would be it, but fast-forward nearly 40 years, and that enthusiasm and determination to step up and help others has never wavered.

"As Life President of Comic Relief, I’m excited to see some new and familiar faces come forward now to present the big night and lead us into the next chapter.”

He added: “Right now, we know there is a cost-of-living crisis and people are struggling, a lot of people are struggling here and around the world.

"But we also know that the British public are brilliant – you’re so kind and generous, if somebody has a problem, you always want to help out.

"Without you, we couldn’t do what we do.

"I’d love nothing more than if you joined me in getting involved this year.

"Let’s make it one to remember and show that having a laugh can actually make a world of difference.

"Do something funny for money, join me at The London Palladium, wear your Red Nose with complete and utter pride – whatever you do, thank you.

"Let's go!"

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