The BBC will air a three-hour charity show later this month to fundraise during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Announced by Lenny Henry on The One Show, the joint venture between BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief will see a star-studded line-up designed to ‘offer some light relief and entertainment’ while ‘celebrating and rewarding those going the extra mile to support their communities in these troubled times’.
BBC’s The Big Night In is set to air on April 23 and will also see comedian Peter Kay make his first TV appearance in two years on the show. Other stars who have signed up for the show include Catherine Tate and Gary Barlow.
Speaking on The One Show, Lenny, 61, said: ‘Peter Kay will be involved, there will be musical guests, it will just be a really fun night to cheer people up during the crisis.
‘And of course, if people want to donate, give a bit of money to help, they can, to help any of the small charities across the country, who help people of any age who need it.
‘Even if you can’t donate, just watch it will cheer you up.’
Funds raised on the night will be split equally between BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief to provide essential support to local charities, projects and programmes across the UK to help those most in need and significantly impacted by the crisis.
The show will be broadcast live and in accordance with all current social isolating government protocols, the BBC confirmed.
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, said: ‘BBC One will bring the nation together for this special one-off live charity event.
‘I would like to thank both BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief for joining forces in these unprecedented times to provide their support to local charities, projects and programmes across the whole UK; and to all of the stars taking part in this unmissable night of entertainment when the country needs it most.’
UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: ‘The Big Night In is a fantastic way to channel the amazing outpouring of generosity we are seeing from the British people.
‘It’s brilliant to see BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief coming together for the first time to ensure help gets to those that need it most, and to celebrate those who are going above and beyond in their communities.
‘We’re working with the BBC and others to ensure this event is a huge success. As government develops further measures, we will work together to coordinate our efforts in the battle against coronavirus and remind everyone to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.’