Red Nose Day 2001 is an Entertainment programme.

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Red Nose Day 2001

Red Nose Night will be broadcast on Friday 16th March from 7.00pm on BBC 1. At 10.00pm BBC 2 will take over where it will remain for half an hour.

Poverty is, frankly, pants - and that's why Comic Relief is here again to help raise funds fir the needy, while raising a laugh along the way.

The evenings programming will feature a veritable galaxy of stars from the world of entertainment in order to do their bit for a worthwhile cause.

Ant and Dec, Lenny Henry, Zoe Ball, Graham Norton, Jonathan Ross, David Baddiel, Frank Skinner, Cat Dealey, Davinia McCall and Dermot O'Leary are among the celebrity hosts of this TV extravaganza packed with entertainment and comedy shorts. And Ali G scoops the showbiz interview of the year when he meets Posh and Becks to find out what goes on behind the walls of "Beckingham Palace".

Six celebrities, one week, that house! Last week, six household names went on camera from breakfast to bedtime, living in each others pockets and cut off from the outside world, in "Celebrity Big Brother". Now both the BBC and Channel 4 are running nightly updates throughout the week and the final eviction takes place live on Red Nose Night.

Also, the cast of EastEnders get together with a wealth of stars and comedians as they find out who pulled the trigger, and Robbie Williams joins the Fast Show's Ted and Ralph. Stripped bare to the waist, Robbie swaggers through the rambling garden towards an open-jawed Ralph who, only moments beforehand, was distressed at Ted's decision to leave. It's not only his estate which will be in a state once Robbie has his hands on his masters hoe.

Kathy Burke purses her lips to help Comic Relief's purse strings when she and James Dreyfus organise a snog-a-thon in a Gimme Gimme Gimme special .

Award winning Goodness Gracious Me team get the wrong idea about Comic Relief and try fundraising in their own inimitable style, and Kiss Me Kate's Caroline Quentin and Chris Langham see some unusual clients including Des Lynam and EastEnder Tamzyn Outhwaite.

Mo Mowlam joins a celebrity cast for a My Hero special as Ardal O'Hanlon gets into a fix with Trude Mostue, Michael Buerk, Anne Robinson, Matthew Pinsent and Steve Redgrave.

Meanwhile over on BBC 2 Angus Deayton, Nick Hancock, Sean Hughes, Stephen Fry, Roison Murphy, David Gower and Phill Jupitus get together for Have I Got Buzzcocks All Over!, as a famous politician encounters some nimble fingers in the "Mystery feel" round.

Baclk on BBC 1, Alan Partridge beams live into the studio with an update of Comic Relief activity nation-wide.

And one person will walk away with 1000 incredible prizes when Dale Winton hosts the live final of "1000 to 1". The winner will have beaten 999 other cintestants and will scoop a fantastic array of prizes. A Comic Relief project in their local area will also benefit from their victory.

There's a special treat in store when the shy and retiring Billy Connolly will forget his pants altogether and show viewers why he's really called the "Big Yin" ... but only if enough money is raised during Red Nose Night.

All this plus Vic and Bob, Harry Hill, Victoria Wood, Julie Walters, Stephen Fry, Junior Simpson, Alistair McGowan, "The League of Gentlemen", "Smack the Pony" and music from some of thw world's biggest music stars.

The reason all of this is happening is to raise bucket loads of cash for Comic Relief. Throughout the night, a host of stars see for themselves just how Comic Relief cash is used to aid some of the poorest and most disadventaged people across Africa and here in the UK.

On a more serious note, Robbie Williams visits Mozambique to meet some of the people who lost everything in the devastating floods last year. As he says, people in the UK can do something as simple as giving cash to help someone buy a cow, which will allow them to plough the land and grow food again.

Lenny Henry meets Dave and Elaine in Edinburgh. Elaine is just 45 but a couple of years ago she was diagnosed with early onset dementia. Elaine has already begun to experience memory loss, she can no longer recognise money and frequently forgetspeoples names. But both her and David are helped by Alzheimer Scotlamd - just one of the hundreds of projects around the UK that Comic Reliefis helping to support.

And in London, actor Stephen Tompkinson meets children with HIV and AIDS at the charity Body & Soul. The stigma surrounding HIV & AIDS still exists so young people are still having to lead double lives. Body & Soul is a place in which young people can be themseves with iother people in the same situation. As Tompkinson says, "They need to be able to share their feelings and their fears, not hide them."

In Africa too, in the tiny country devastated by genocide in 1994, BBC correspondentFergal Keane and Paul Bradley meet the women who are now dying of AIDS as a result of the mass rapes that were part of the genocide. In short films made when Keane and Bradley filmed their recent BBC1 documentary, Rwanda - Hope in Hell, the two push home the message that help os desperately needed for women who have already suffered beyond their worst nightmares, and children, who already have no fathers, grandparents, aunts or uncles, and will soon lose their mothers too.

In Nairobi, Davinia McCall tells the good-news story of how cash raised on the last Red Nose Day is helping people to move out of the city where over a million people live in filth and poverty that has to be seen to be believed.

And in Uganda, Tommy Walsh helps to build a house for just some of the 1.5 million Aids orphans there. These are kids who are, quite simply, alone in the world, with no home, no love and no hope. The project Tommy visits is giving them a fresh start, giving them foster mums and other Aids orphans for foster brothers and sisiters. As they bounce around their brand new bunks in the new house, even Tommy is teary-eyed: "It just makes life worth living, doesn't it?"

This years Red Nose Night is the biggest, the longest and possibly the best ever. Join in, laugh your thongs off, and "Say Pants to Poverty" for Red Nose Day 2001.

To order fundraising packs ring: 09068 20 2001 (calls cost 60p a minute)

Donations can be made on : 08457 910910 (calls charged at local rate)

Alternately make donations via the Comic Relief website (http://www.comicrelief.com

Courtesy of the BBC.

Genre: Entertainment