Red Nose Day: The most exciting highlights from Baldrick to The Traitors

The Comic Relief fundraiser is back today

Red Nose Day 2023 hosts Joel Dommett, AJ Odudu, Paddy McGuinness, David Tennant and Zoe Ball
Red Nose Day 2023 hosts Joel Dommett, AJ Odudu, Paddy McGuinness, David Tennant and Zoe Ball (BBC/Comic Relief, Nicky Johnston)

Clear your schedule because Red Nose Day returns on Friday, 17 March for three hours of live entertainment featuring special guests, live performances and hilarity - all in the name of charity.

Recorded live from Salford’s Media City UK, Comic Relief's annual fundraising event kicks off at 7pm and will once again feature some of the biggest names in telly and entertainment.

Expect to find exclusive comedy sketches, spectacular musical moments and a few extra-fun surprises thrown in for good measure as the showbiz world gathers to help support those facing the toughest times of their lives, from the recent earthquake disaster in Syria and Turkey to worldwide poverty and the current cost of living crisis.

Read more: Comic Relief to auction Pat Butcher's earrings

To guide you through the big night, the Red Nose Day team have gathered a glitzy quartet of hosts including former (and potentially current) Doctor Who, David Tennant, BBC Radio 2’s Zoe Ball and presenters AJ Odudu, Paddy McGuinness and Joel Dommett.

So far so good - but what special surprises can we expect to find during Comic Relief 2023? Let’s take a look...

What sketches will be on during Red Nose Day 2023?

Comic Relief 2023 - Bedtime Story,17-03-2023,Bedtime Story - Baldrick,Baldrick (TONY ROBINSON),BBC,Sally Mais
Tony Robinson returns as Baldrick for a Bedtime Story on Red Nose Day. (BBC)

Over the years, Comic Relief has made a habit of reforming some of comedy’s most beloved characters and shows for special one-off sketches that tickle funny bones while raising awareness of those in need.

Thankfully, Red Nose Day 2023 is no different which means audiences will find some familiar faces popping up throughout the night.

Long-time fans of British comedy will no doubt be delighted to see the return of Blackadder’s happy-go-lucky pal Baldrick (Tony Robinson) who returns to our screens for the first time in 20 years.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a cunning plan to help with the cost of living crisis but he has come equipped with a special Blackadder-themed Bedtime Story that’s sure to please fans old and young. Plot details are still tightly under wraps, but we bet it involves turnips.

Comic Relief 2023 - Ghosts,17-03-2023,Ghosts,Julian (SIMON FARNABY), Thomas (MATHEW BAYNTON), Fanny (MARTHA HOWE-DOUGLAS), Kylie Minogue, Pat (JIM HOWICK), The Captain (BEN WILLBOND),BBC,Guido Mandozzi
Kylie Minogue will appear in a Ghosts sketch on Red Nose Day. (BBC/Guido Mandozzi)

The cast of BBC’s hit supernatural comedy Ghosts get an unexpected visit from a pop megastar when Kylie Minogue pops by the haunted Button House to see if it’s a suitable music venue, while Love Island invites viewers on a trip to the hideaway that’s suddenly ruffled by the appearance of an unexpected bombshell.

Expect gratuitous slow-mo, lots of quips and plenty of sass.

Comic Relief 2023 - Love island,17-03-2023,Comic Relief Love Island,Chabuddy G (ASIM CHAUDHRY),BBC,Colin Hopkins
Chabuddy G (Asim Chaudhry) will rock up to the Love Island villa on Red Nose Day. (BBC/Colin Hopkins)

Hot off becoming one of the most talked about shows of 2023, The Traitors makes a welcome return to screens, this time given a tongue-in-cheek celebrity spoof makeover as host Claudia Winkleman (here co-played by comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders and baker extraordinaire Mary Berry) pits a group of famous faces against each other.

Mary Berry, Claudia Winkleman, Dawn French, and Jennifer Saunders will appear in a Traitors sketch on Comic Relief. (BBC)
Mary Berry, Claudia Winkleman, Dawn French, and Jennifer Saunders will appear in a Traitors sketch on Comic Relief. (BBC)

Meanwhile, if you didn’t manage to bag tickets to Eurovision 2023, don’t worry as pop’s biggest (and cheesiest) competition will be stopping by Red Nose Day this year.

Join judges Graham Norton, Lulu and last year’s Eurovision winner, Sam Ryder, as they sift through the good and the not-so-good famous faces who are all vying for the chance to represent the UK in this year’s Liverpool-hosted event.

Read more: How to apply for The Traitors S2

If you’ve ever wondered how good Jamie Dornan is at singing or if a Dalek might make a better Eurovision hopeful than an actual human, this is the sketch for you.

Comic Relief 2023 schedule

While details of this year's musical acts are yet to be revealed, we do have details of a host of post-show entertainment that will keep you glued — and donating — long after Red Nose Day’s live segment has ended at 10pm.

Of course, throughout the evening, we’ll see various appeal films shining a light on the personal stories behind those impacted by a range of difficult issues spanning homelessness, human trafficking and the conflict in Ukraine and allowing us the perfect opportunity to open our wallets and donate.

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Joel Dommett has joined the hosting team for Comic Relief - Red Nose Day 2023 (BBC/Comic Relief/Nicky Johnston)

However, after the live event has ended, When Comic Relief Did Big Brother (And things really kicked off!) will retell the story of 2001’s celebrity Big Brother special which featured memorable appearances from Jack Dee, Vanessa Feltz and Anthea Turner, among others. During this anniversary look-back, a host of participants reflect on the most shocking moments of this charitable endeavour, 22 years after it was first broadcast.

Finally, rounding out this year’s Red Nose Day programming is Comic Relief: The Best of the Best Bits which celebrates 30 years of Comic Relief shenanigans.

Throughout 60 minutes, viewers will be whisked away on a whistle-stop tour of some of this annual event’s most memorable, hilarious and shocking moments, featuring classic sketches, special guests and a whole load of A-listers.

Red Nose Day 2023 starts at 7pm on Friday, 17 March.

Watch a clip from Red Nose Day Actually