Comic Relief

7:00pm Friday 18 March on BBC ONE

Lenny Henry, Fearne Cotton, Michael McIntyre and Claudia Winkleman are among the hosts for this evening of rip-roaring laughter and top telly treats to help raise money for vulnerable and disadvantaged people across the UK and Africa

5:15pm Monday 14 to Friday 18 March on BBC ONE

CBBC favourites Sam and Mark set out to find the nation’s best young Glee Club, with the help of vocal coaches Carrie and David Grant and choreographer Sisco Gomez, in an all-singing, all-dancing new series, culminating in a live final during a Night Of Comic Relief 2011

Nine celebrity climbers have reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, raising money for Comic Relief.

£1.4million has been raised so far, and the money will go to help children in the UK and Africa.

A few members of the group, including Cheryl Cole from pop group, Girls Aloud, and TV presenter Fearne Cotton, reached the 19,300ft (5,900m) peak of Africa’s highest mountain on Saturday morning.

Updates on the difficult trek have been posted in a blog on the Comic Relief site, and “At the summit, God knows how” had been posted as the first few reached the top.

GMTV host Ben Shephard and Any Dream Will Do judge Denise Van Outen, were also among the first group to conquer the mountain. Chris Moyles, Radio 1 morning DJ, and pop star an Strictly Come Dancing winner Alesha Dixon, reached the summit later on.

The blog went on to say: “Ben, Fearne, Denise and Cheryl make it just as the sun comes up. Amazing.”

Kimberley Walsh, who is another member of Girls Aloud, Boyzone singer Ronan Keating, and Take That star Gary Barlow were said to be “in agony” reaching the top of the mountain.

Others are finding it particularly difficult too, as the blog also reported that Alesha “went through the pain barrier”. There had been reports that Alesha would not be fit enough to climb the mountain, after she found training difficult, but she has built her strength and persisted, determined to do the charity trek.

It continued: “Cheryl for one has already said she’s never done anything so mentally and physically demanding and I doubt anyone in the team will disagree.

“A temperature of minus 15 and air so thin your lungs positively burn with disappointment every time you take a breath means you can’t stop long.”

The Red Nose Day 2009 countdown started today, with a selection of television and music stars announcing fundraising events for the big night to be held on the 13th March.

Stars of Gavin and Stacey, Rob Brydon and Ruth Jones have recorded a cover of Islands In The Stream for this year’s event. Tom Jones makes an appearance in the song, as does Robin Gibb who wrote it. The single will be available for download from the 8th March.

The Celebrity Apprentice is to return, with Jonathan Ross, Jack Dee and Carol Vorderman taking part in the teams to impress Sir Alan Sugar.

Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two presenter, Claudia Winkleman, will join Steve Jones in presenting Let’s Dance for Comic Relief, which features celebrities recreating famous dances from television and films. Jo Brand is a confirmed contestant, and she has participated in Comic Relief talent sows in the past, most famously with Ruby Wax, singing The Cheeky Song on Comic Relief Does Strictly Come Dancing.

Dragons’ Den entrepreneurs Duncan Bannatyne and Peter Jones will also become dance partners for the show. On his website videoblog, Duncan said: “I am actually going to be dancing with Peter Jones for Comic Relief in March and people will see that on television.

“When they asked me to dance with Peter Jones I thought I’ll say yes because I’ll look good and Peter will say no. Peter said yes and now I have to dance with him – me and twinkle toes.”

Girl group, The Saturdays are to record the official Comic Relief 2009 single, a cover of the Depeche Mode hit, Just Can’t Get Enough, which will be released on 2nd March.

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