March 2024

Red Nose Day Presenters Q&A

Sir Lenny Henry

Sir Lenny Henry

It's your last year hosting Comic Relief's big night of TV, how does it feel to be handing over the baton for one last time?

It feels great. I love Comic Relief and I've been doing it for 39 years. I'm a Life President for the charity and I'm still going to be supporting other Comic Relief and Red Nose Day projects throughout the year, like recruiting new talent, doing voiceovers etc. so I'll still be around just not onscreen. I think it is time to hand over the reins because there is an extraordinary new generation of talent and we need to give these people and their audiences access to what Comic Relief can do and how we can raise money together.

What are some of your favourite moments from hosting Red Nose Day's night of TV since it began?

There have been so many. There's a massive archive of genuinely funny things that still stand up. I think Rik Mayall singing Do You Love Me on the very first documentary, which was a night of TV arena show and raised over a million pounds, was hilarious. Rick came on stage and at the time he was one of the most famous people in the country because of Young Ones and the audience loved him.

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders did sex talk which was hilarious and Eddie Izzard performing in front of a very tired audience was very funny. I also had to lift Ken Dodd away from the camera so that we didn't crash into the news. Ken could never do three minutes, he had to do 25 minutes or an hour wherever he was performing so we had to literally pick him up and take him off the screen.

There are a lot of funny moments from across the years on Red Nose Day, far too many to mention, and long may it continue.

Why should viewers tune in to Red Nose Day this year?

Because it's going to be chock-a-block full of content, all of your favourite presenters and loads of special surprises. It will probably be the best night of my life because it's my last year hosting and I know there's going to be loads of surprises. So, you have to tune in for that. Plus, all the incredible films that the brilliant team create and put so much hard work into. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Why is Comic Relief's work so important?

We are still advocates for social change and we are still helping to alleviate poverty and social injustice. We work with projects that support people who are experiencing mental health and domestic abuse issues and homelessness, and those that provide safe shelter - helping solve so many issues. Comic Relief is there to help people in the UK and around the world, which I think should always be the way it is. We're just not going to stop.

The British public have been so brilliant at backing us and we want to say, if we haven't said it, if we don't say it enough, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. It's an amazing thing.

Why do you think Comic Relief is so dear to the nation?

I think Comic Relief is dear to the nation because there is a sense of charity in this country that is relentless. Comic Relief has managed to take a foothold because people love to laugh, and the idea of having a laugh and raising money simultaneously is incredibly charming and attractive.

Do you have a lucky charm or do you do a ritual to bring you good luck before you host the live show?

I don't really have a lucky charm or a ritual. I get my hair cut. I am just very confident in the process as we have been doing this for a long time and there are so many brilliant people behind the scenes, who make the infrastructure strong. The joy and goodwill of being there on the day means that you want to make the show as good as you can. Even if something happens live like the autocue breaks or the broadcast stops, we just keep going and enjoy ourselves, and the audience seem to be with us all the way. So, I don't need any of that stuff.

Describe this year's show in three words...

Fun, frolics, chaos ... and giving, lots of giving. But that's more than three words.

Fun, frolics, donations. Hurrah!

Maya Jama

Maya Jama

How does it feel to be hosting Red Nose Day's night of TV for the first time?

It feels incredible. It's such a special and worthy show and a lovely night of the year, so I'm thrilled to be a part of it.

Why should viewers tune in this year?

It's a light-hearted and feel-good show. There's also a real importance to it outside of comedy too, which I think viewers really appreciate.

Why do you think Comic Relief is so dear to the nation?

Just because of how much it does to support the people who need it most. It does exactly what it sets out to do, which is raising an incredible amount for various projects and has given back a lot to local communities. I think the nation also loves to see its favourite people – from actors on their favourite TV shows to presenters and comedians, come together one night of the year for a great cause.

How does it feel to be hosting alongside Sir Lenny Henry in his final year?

Honestly, it's such a dream to be working with Sir Lenny Henry, especially in his final year of hosting the show. He really embodies the essence of Comic Relief – he's giving and such a joy that it'll be very strange to see the show go on without him. He will leave such an incredible legacy behind on the show, so I'm looking forward to working with him this year!

Do you have a lucky charm or do you do a ritual to bring you good luck before you host a live show?

I wouldn't call it a lucky charm or ritual but I do love to blast some music before a show with my team, and just release any anxious energy in me.

We've all grown up with Red Nose Day on our screens. Do you have a favourite memory from the years?

My favourite memory – and probably the moment I found funniest was Ali G interviewing Posh & Becks. It was just such a ‘this will probably never happen again because it's so wild’ type of interview.

Describe this year's show in three words...

This year's show is going to be hilarious (as always), heart-warming, and not technically one word, but end-of-an-era.

Paddy McGuinness

Paddy McGuinness

How does it feel to be back to host Red Nose Day's night of TV?

It's always a pleasure to be a part of such an amazing and iconic event. Seeing the passion from Richard Curtis and his team along with the generosity of our nation is an absolute treat.

Why should viewers tune in this year?

Another stellar line up of comedy talent, audience interaction and the ability to get involved in making people's lives better.

Why do you think Comic Relief is so dear to the nation?

On the whole we're a selfless nation of good eggs. The generosity from the Great British public is testament to that.

How does it feel to be hosting alongside Sir Lenny Henry in his final year?

The gaffer is an inspiration to us all. Very glad to stand shoulder to shoulder with him on his last hoorah!

Do you have a lucky charm or do you do a ritual to bring you good luck before you host the live show?

Coffee, lots of coffee!!!

Describe this year’s show in three words...

Life, love and laughter.

Romesh Ranganathan

Romesh Ranganathan

How does it feel to be back to host Red Nose Day’s night of TV?

I grew up watching the show - it has been ingrained into my psyche as part of British culture - so the opportunity to host again is one that I am extremely grateful for. I will probably regret the earnestness of this answer later.

Why should viewers tune in this year?

We are working hard to put on an amazing show. People are struggling across the board at the moment so we are going to pull out all the stops to make it as uplifting as well as entertaining.

Why do you think Comic Relief is so dear to the nation?

It has been running for such a long time, but primarily Comic Relief is inherently British - looking out for other people with humour - that is something that resonates with everyone and why I think Comic Relief is something that’s become part of the British charity and entertainment landscape. I really need to put something funny in one of these answers.

How does it feel to be hosting alongside Sir Lenny Henry in his final year?

Lenny Henry is an icon who is one of the reasons I started doing comedy. To be hosting alongside him will be an absolute honour. He is worthy of the accolade legend, although I did also use that word to my son the other day because he brought me some toast.

Do you have a lucky charm or do you do a ritual to bring you good luck before you host the live show?

My wife always sends me a good luck text before every big performance I do. It's now become a superstition so if you watch it and I'm awful, she's forgotten.

Describe this year's show in three words...

Comic Relief Live.

Rosie Ramsey

Rosie Ramsey

How does it feel to be hosting Red Nose Day's night of TV for the first time?

It's an honour and a privilege to be asked to be part of such a national institution and huge night of TV. I have so many fond memories of watching over the years so it's actually pretty surreal knowing I'll be part of it on the night.

Why should viewers tune in this year?

Comic Relief is such an important charity and it's a fantastic night of TV raising vital funds for people who need it all over the world.

Why do you think Comic Relief is so dear to the nation?

It's what we do best as a nation... make people laugh and help people who need it most. Comic Relief brings those two things together in such a brilliant way. That's why it has been going for so long and hopefully why it'll continue for many many years to come!

How does it feel to be hosting alongside Sir Lenny Henry in his final year?

Bittersweet! Sir Lenny IS Comic Relief, he's the first person you think of when you see that Red Nose. It'll be an honour to be part of his final show but such a shame that it's his last year.

We've all grown up with Red Nose Day on our screens. Do you have a favourite memory from the years?

Oh my gosh that's hard to answer. I'd have to say the Spice Girls sketch with French and Saunders and co. Still absolutely hilarious! I basically love anything that they do.

Describe this year's show in three words...

Bigger than ever!