Comic Relief ‘highlights’ - or the least worst bits

Mar 18, 2011
Aly Duncan

Cast aside your cynicism: parts of the BBC’s charity celebrity love-in may even be funny

It is easy to deride Comic Relief. For many, its combination of forced enjoyment and minor celebrities showing how much they care while on a jolly to Africa is, however worthy the cause, the signal to head to the pub.

In this year's edition of what the BBC calls "the biggest night in television" there is no shortage of household names that inspire most right-thinking people to reach for the remote: Lenny Henry, Michael McIntyre, Graham Norton, James Corden and Ruby Wax.

But put your cynicism on hold for a moment and remember that there have been some gems down the years - Alan Partridge's Kate Bush medley in 1999, Peep Show's Robert Webb performing Flashdance in 2009 - and even, for novelty value if nothing else, Tony Blair on the Catherine Tate show in 2007.

So there is no reason - the Downton Abbey spoof starring Jennifer Saunders and Kim Cattrall aside - that this year's event won't throw up a couple of corkers. Here are a few that The First Post readers may find more to their taste.

• Comedy flavour of the month Miranda Hart is joined by JLS and Louie Spence for a spoof dance lesson. Fans of the comedian will look forward to seeing how her trademark self-deprecation and pratfalls fare in the company of the boyband and Pineapple Dance stars.

• Later in the evening there is another instalment of Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge in Mid-Morning Matters, the veteran broadcaster's local digital radio show. Twelve episodes have been released on the internet and have been every bit as funny as the televised Partridge - so the Comic Relief special will be worth keeping an eye out for.

• A skit from spoof opera group 4tissimo - in which they attempt to record a "hip-hopera" - could fail miserably or be a success. The cameos from the likes of Tim Westwood, who is often unintentionally hilarious, and Richard Bacon are promising on the trailer on the BBC website.

• The cast of hit Channel 4 comedy The Inbetweeners have taken to the road in a typically juvenile attempt to visit 50 of Britain's lewdest locations in as many hours (above). Footage of the boys' escapades, as they call in on the likes of Seamons Close, Back Passage and Twatley, can be seen on the night or downloaded at any time from iTunes.

Unfortunately, the BBC is unable to provide a schedule for these potential comedic gems because of the 'anarchic' nature of the evening – so The First Post takes no responsibility if you are forced to endure the sight of BBC weathermen dancing in drag.

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