Skip to main content

Comic Relief 2021 on BBC1 — air date, celebrities and everything you need to know about the charity special

Dame Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch have already got involved with the campaign.
Dame Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch are among the stars supporting Comic Relief 2021 on BBC1. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Comic Relief 2021 is returning in the spring, and BBC1 will air a night of entertainment featuring plenty of great specials. As coronavirus continues to impact the world, this special hopes to raise a few smiles during these difficult times.

Comic Relief co-founder, Sir Lenny Henry, said: "We all need cheering up, so this year Red Nose Day will be a bit different. 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!"

The money raised by Red Nose Day will support people in the UK and around the world, and help tackle homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse and mental health stigma.

Here's everything you need to know about Comic Relief 2021...

When is Comic Relief 2021 on TV?

Red Nose Day returns on Friday March 19, hoping to raise both smiles and money to help vulnerable people across the globe. To celebrate community spirit amid the pandemic, this year they're launching Share a Smile, in collaboration with CBBC, to bring a little more joy to homes across the country.

The nation is encouraged to do something small and meaningful this year, such as sending someone a kind message, stick your favourite joke on your window for others to read, or do a random act of kindness to help a loved one.

Who is taking part in Comic Relief 2021?

Alesha Dixon, David Tennant, Davina McCall, Paddy McGuiness and Sir Lenny Henry will present the Comic Relief special, which the BBC has described as a "brand new format". In addition to this, David Tennant is reuniting with Michael Sheen for a brand new Staged episode.

Dawn French is also bringing back her iconic Vicar of Dibley character Reverend Geraldine Granger for a special one-off episode and Dame Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch have joined forces for a short film about the power of comedy, which features appearances from comedy legends like Katherine Ryan, Shappi Khorsandi and Mo Gilligan.

This year there's an epic giveaway too, which can be entered here. If you donate you could win a 1-year Disney+ membership, a 1-year cinema pass, a Samsung 65-inch 8k Ultra HD Smart TV, a Bluetooth Wi-Fi Cinematic Sound Bar, £100 Deliveroo voucher + Popcorn, Disney Goodies, a one-of-a-kind Raya and The Last Dragon drawing from an artist at The Walt Disney Studios.

How can I get involved in Comic Relief 2021?

There's lots of ways to safely fundraise this year, including the return of the charity's iconic Red Nose. These can be bought from the official Red Nose Day shop or in-store at Sainsbury's. The theme of this year's nose is The Great Outdoors, and there's 10 different characters to choose from. They're all 100% plastic free too.

You can also pre-order a fundraising pack which provides support and ideas for how to fundraise during the pandemic. They've also created a quiz that can be enjoyed virtually, if you fancy putting your knowledge to the test and raising money for a good cause while you're at it.

Other ideas include a sponsored walk or run, selling art or other creative projects, or a virtual gaming tournament with friends or family.