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Red Nose Day is an exciting event that is not only fun and delightful, but also raises money for charity. It incorporates comedians and other stars, as well as individuals who want to participate by wearing a red nose for the day, making a donation, and much more.

Get ready for the fun and laughter of Red Nose Day!

History of Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day has a delightful background that began a few decades ago! Back in 1985, Comic Relief started as a charity with the desire to respond to the famine that was devastating Ethiopia at the time. The desire was to get comedians together to help people laugh while raising support to help people around the world.

The following year, the notion of Red Nose Day was established and was then held every other year, broadcast on British Television (BBC) as a telethon usually taking place in March. Although the charity focuses have changed throughout the years, the organization continues to raise funds for those in need, particularly for ending poverty in children.

By 2015, Red Nose Day had made its way to the United States and it had a great amount of success there. In 2021 it was announced that Red Nose Day in the UK and in the US would convert from every other year to taking place annually, which is a win for those watching as well as for the kids that it supports!

Red Nose Day events have featured some of the most famous comedians, pop stars and other famous people from around the UK, the US and other places. This includes names like Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), Steve Martin, Take That, Jack Black, Simon Cowell, James Corden, Miranda Hart and so many more over the years.

Skits and activities have included entertainment such as Dance-a-Thons, LOL-a-thons, and even a record set in the Guiness Book of World Records for the longest radio show.

In addition to comedy and performances, other events and challenges have been included in Red Nose Day. Some years have included special reunions in honor of film casts, such as “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, as well as the “Love Actually” cast. Some more recent years have also included a Kilimanjaro challenge in which several celebrities participated in a climb up the largest mountain in Africa.

All in all, Red Nose Day has been responsible for raising over £1 billion GBP and more than $250 million USD that has been donated to charity, with expenses for the show being completely underwritten by sponsors. In addition, the show has sold millions of red noses for people to wear that help to lend support and raise awareness for the day.

Red Nose Day Timeline


First Red Nose Day is observed on television

Red Nose Day begins as a telethon that is put on by Comic Relief and hosts more than 150 comedians, pop stars and celebrities. Its logo is “The Plain Red Nose” and it raises more than £15 million for charity, with more than 30 million viewers on BBC1.[1]


A record 73% of people in the UK take part in Red Nose Day

With record participation numbers, including making donations, wearing red noses and watching the telethon. Features include Mr. Bean and dozens of other fan favorites.[2]


Red Nose Day raises record funds in UK

This year’s total funds raised equals £99,418,831, which is not the most ever but is a stellar amount. Plus, added to the other years in the past, that puts the total raised by Red Nose Day at over £1 billion.[3]


Red Nose Day launches in the United States 

With a purpose of bringing joy while ending childhood poverty, Red Nose Day is hosted by NBC and is supported by celebrities like Jack Black, Reese Witherspoon, Will Farrell and Julia Roberts. 5 million Red noses at Walgreens sell out within just 10 days.[4]


Red Nose Day becomes an annual event 

To increase the impact of Red Nose Day, it is decided that it will take place every year, beginning this year. Everyday people are encouraged to get involved and the red noses have turned into wild little characters that are 100% plastic free.[5]

How to Celebrate Red Nose Day

Getting involved with Red Nose Day can certainly be loads of fun–and people can really feel the sense that it’s for a good cause too! Try out some of these ideas for celebrating everything to do with Red Nose Day:

Wear a Red Nose for Charity

One of the most fun things about Red Nose Day is the joy that comes from donning that delightful red nose! Embrace that inner child and share in the camaraderie that can be found in getting together as a community to stand behind the children.

Those who live in a more virtual world can still be playful but making a donation and gaining access to a Virtual Red Nose! Whether using it on social media or for online meetings, the virtual nose allows for safe online interactions while still supporting the cause.

Make a Donation to Charity

With the greatest joy behind Red Nose Day being the fight to end childhood poverty around the world, this is the perfect time to consider making a donation in observation of the day. This can easily be done online through links to the Red Nose Day websites either in the USA ( or in the UK (

It’s also possible to get involved by purchasing red noses at various supermarkets and charity shops throughout the UK in the days and weeks in March that are leading up to Red Nose Day.

Register to Raise Funds for Red Nose Day

Get involved with Red Nose Day by registering online to be an advocate who will help raise funds for this worthy charity in a fun and exciting manner. Participants residing in the UK can get a free fundraising pack that offers resources and tips for individual or group fundraising, to help make Red Nose Day as big and broad as possible!

Throw a Red Nose Day Party

Get a few friends, family members or co-workers together to have a little gathering in honor of Red Nose Day. of course, guests should be encouraged to make a donation and wear their own red noses. Serve themed foods, like red cake balls, red cherry tomatoes or juicy red apples, and decorate with all the red pom-poms, poufs, and baubles!

Watch a Red Nose Day Themed Show

Obviously, the ideal entertainment on this day would be to watch the Red Nose Day telethon together live and have a laugh-a-thon. But, for those who perhaps don’t have access to the BBC network telethon, try watching one of these shows:

  • Red Nose Day Actually. In a nod to the 2003 film, Love Actually, which was written and directed by one of the Red Nose Day founders, Richard Curtis, the cast got together in 2016 to create a mini-sequel which shows what the couples were up to years later!
  • One Red Nose Day and a Wedding. Another spinoff of a Richard Curtis movie, also starring Hugh Grant, this one was made in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Patch Adams. While this film starring Robin Williams isn’t directly related to Red Nose Day, it is a feel good movie that is about encouraging children who are struggling. And Patch certainly does wear a red nose sometimes!

Red Nose Day FAQs

What is Red Nose Day?

Put on every other year, Red Nose Day is an entertaining variety show with comedians and celebrities that raises funds for charity to end child poverty. People can get involved by watching on television, making donations, wearing a Red Nose and more.[1]

When did Red Nose Day start?

The first Red Nose Day was started by Comic Relief in the UK in 1986. It has been held every other year since then and has raised over £1.2 billion for charity over the years.[2]

Is Red Nose Day every year?

Until 2021, the Red Nose Day telethon and celebration has taken place every other year on the second or third Friday of March in the UK and the last Thursday of May in the US. In 2021 it was announced that Red Nose would be an annual event starting in 2022.[3]

Is Red Nose Day British?

Red Nose Day did start out in the UK by the British charitable organization Comic Relief. However, people in other places in the world with access to the BBC could certainly watch. And, in 2015, Red Nose Day had its own American version in the US.[4]

Where to get a Red Nose for Red Nose Day?

In celebration of Red Nose Day, many local businesses and schools in the UK sell them. In the US, businesses such as Walgreens make them available. Or, order in advance and make a donation through the Red Nose Day website.[5]

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