Thursday, 24 February 2011

Comic Relief

Last month I posted this on The Inbetweeners' Rude Road Trip. As you may have gathered, I've long been a supporter of Comic Relief, the UK charity founded by (amongst others) Richard Curtis in 1985 and which has been organising Red Nose Day and the accompanying TV charity telethon since 1988.

One of the founding principle of Comic Relief was that every penny raised should go direct to the people whom it aims to support (the split is historically 2/3rds to Africa and 1/3rd to the UK, although support was given to Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake.) To this end, they have a number of partners who either give support in kind or cover the various admin costs associated with large-scale fundraising.

This transparency also extends to those products that are sold to support Red Nose Day, where the amount actually going to Comic Relief is publicised at the point of sale.

Another great reason to support Comic Relief is the way that they use celebrities in fundraising. It is not enough for a celebrity to appear on the show or record a video in support; they'll visit projects that the charity is funding both here and abroad and see the challenges first hand. It is also interesting to note how many stars remain supporters year in year out, even while fame and trends wax and wane,.

A more recent development, kicked off by David Walliam's English Channel swim for Sport Relief, are the sponsored events where groups of celebrities take on gruelling challenges. Last year a group of 8 or so cycled from John O'Groats to Lands End non-stop while the year before a similar number climbed Kilimanjaro. These cleverly cover a number of fan-bases and widen the scope for donations as well as lengthening the period over which funds are raised.

This year Lorraine Kelly, Scott Mills, Kara Tointon, Olly Murs, Ronni Ancona, Dermot O'Leary, Peter White, Nadia Sawalha and Craig David are crossing 100km's of the Kaisut desert in Northern Kenya. You can find out more here and donate here.

In the UK you can also text 'Desert' to 70011 to donate a pound. Or text twice to donate £2... Texts cost £1 plus the cost of one text at your standard network rate.

Anyway, all that was a roundabout way of getting to today's post of one of Dermot O'Leary's latest video diaries from the trek:


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