Red Nose Day, Part 1

Just because Comic Relief is for charity doesn't mean we have to leave our critical faculties behind the sofa.
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Just because Comic Relief is for charity doesn't mean we have to leave our critical faculties behind the sofa.

Let’s get this out of the way. I am a charitable soul. I will give to any charity going. (Unless it’s cats. Fuck cats). And I donate to Comic Relief. Got that? Good. As Alan Partridge says: ‘It’s also about serious things, like Davina McCall crouching down, holding the hand of a little African boy and saying a phone number.’

Even so, the annual sight of Lenny Henry’s uvula makes me want to kick a puppy across a Premier Inn. Comic Relief is to comedy what the bloody Hootenanny is to music – a horrendous self-congratulatory celeb wank-off which leaves the average person agog at its sheer, eye-watering mediocrity. This year was no different. The first half was presented by Claudia Winkleman and squinting, smirking Build-A-Bear Michael McIntyre. (Can I have the face of a twat, the hairline of a werewolf and the voice box of a third rate hospital DJ, please Mum?). Poor Winkleman was forced to stand there, pregnant, looking like a bottle of Kia Ora dressed as a bottle of ketchup, gallantly pretending to cry with laughter at McIntyre’s pathetic jokes. ‘You sometimes find money under a car seat, don’t you?’ he waffled. ‘Which is why cars always cost £5,995 – the extra fiver is still somewhere in the car.’ HA! YEAH! It’s funny cos it’s true, you do sometimes lose money behind the car seat! And often, you find loose change behind the SOFA, which is even FUNNIER! (Hope you’re writing this down, McIntyre – this is gold). The slogan on the screen behind them -  ‘Do Something Funny’ – soon began to seem like a desperate plea.

In between this maddening crap were the usual pre- recorded ‘comedy’ skits, tastelessly interspersed with heartbreaking films about dying children. First, there was Andy Murray ‘acting’ with the cast of Outnumbered. He was - to use a tennis term - more wood than string. Then, a special Dr Who that I didn’t really understand because I was doing something more interesting - but which seemed to involve a duplicate Amy wanting to shag herself, causing all the Dads in the UK to strategically place cushions over their crotches.

The annual sight of Lenny Henry’s uvula makes me want to kick a puppy across a Premier Inn.

After that was Masterchef at 10 Downing Street– featuring Winkleman, Miranda and Ruby Wax – who had the perfect opportunity to kill David Cameron with a shoddily-made crab salad. Instead there was a lot of bowing and scraping as the baby-faced ballbag gorged himself on their cooking and pretended it was nice. I did notice that Ruby appeared to mutter ‘holy fuck’ under her breath before the watershed, but unfortunately she said it while tasting Claudia’s chilli, rather than standing over Cameron’s steaming corpse holding a hammer. The only person who actually raised a laugh during the whole show was Harry Hill, who sent up Autumnwatch by putting Bill Oddie in a tree and introducing the youth of today to Bernie Clifton and his ostrich. Respect due.

Winkie and Build-A-Bear were soon replaced by Davina and Graham Norton, who came on like preening prizefighting luvvies at the top of their speaking-into-a-microphone game. The Wanted came on, McFly sang a vile song and Jennifer Saunders’ ‘Uptown Downstairs’ was a boring waste of time, talent and crinoline. Adele sang to a backdrop of starving kids. Davina broke down in tears at one point, and there was an arse clenching technical glitch that left her floundering like a well-groomed red snapper.

At this point I was crying too. Could have been the heartbreaking dying children. Could have been the sight of Peter Kay doing a duet with Susan Boyle. Could have been the image of Michael McIntyre’s stuffing-filled face burned into my retina. All I know is, when the news came on, it was a relief.

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