Comic Relief - Comic Relief Charity Singles

Comic Relief Charity Singles

In April 1986 the first Comic Relief charity single was released. It featured Cliff Richard and the cast of The Young Ones in a rendition of "Living Doll".

Some of the money raised from the sale of each single is donated to Comic Relief. Normally a song is released just before the official Red Nose Day. There have been exceptions, such as "(I want to be) Elected" which was released to coincide with the 1992 UK general election. Before 1995's song, they were all more-or-less comedy records, mostly involving an actual band or singer, and a comedy group. From 1995 on, they have been generally more serious, although the videos still feature comical moments.

2003 saw a return to the format of old. From 2005 onwards, two comic relief songs have been released each red nose day, a song by a mainstream artist, and a comedy song.

In 1991 music video was created called Helping Hands which included numerous children's TV puppet personalities, including characters from 'The House of Gristle', 'Fraggle Rock', 'Rainbow', 'Roland Rat', 'Thunderbirds', 'Round the Bend', 'Bill & Ben', 'The Gophers', 'Spitting Image', 'Jim Hensons Tale of the Bunny Picnic' and more. The song was never released.

Release
date
Title Artist(s) Highest chart
position reached
April 1986 "Living Doll" Cliff Richard and the cast of The Young Ones No. 1
December 1987 "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" Mel & Kim (Mel Smith and Kim Wilde) No. 3
February 1989 "Help!" Bananarama & La na nee nee noo noo (French and Saunders with Kathy Burke) No. 3
March 1991 "The Stonk" Hale and Pace (backing band includes David Gilmour and Brian May) No. 1
April 1992 "(I Want to Be) Elected" Smear Campaign (Bruce Dickinson, Rowan Atkinson, Angus Deayton) No. 9
February 1993 "Stick It Out" Right Said Fred No. 4
May 1994 "Absolutely Fabulous" Absolutely Fabulous (Pet Shop Boys, Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley) No. 6
March 1995 "Love Can Build a Bridge" Cher, Chrissie Hynde, Neneh Cherry and Eric Clapton No. 1
3 March 1997 "Mama" / "Who Do You Think You Are" Spice Girls No. 1
1 March 1999 "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going" Boyzone No. 1
March 2001 "Uptown Girl" Westlife No. 1
March 2003 "Spirit in the Sky" Gareth Gates and the Kumars No. 1
7 March 2005 "All About You"/"You've Got a Friend" McFly No. 1
14 March 2005 "Is This the Way to Amarillo" 1 Tony Christie & Peter Kay No. 1
12 March 2007 "Walk This Way" Sugababes vs. Girls Aloud No. 1
19 March 2007 "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" 2 The Proclaimers & Brian Potter & Andy Pipkin 2 No. 1
2 March 2009 "Just Can't Get Enough" The Saturdays No. 2
8 March 2009 "Barry Islands in the Stream" Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon, featuring Tom Jones and Robin Gibb 3 No. 1
13 March 2011 "Gold Forever" The Wanted No. 3
13 March 2011 "I Know Him So Well" Susan Boyle & Geraldine McQueen No.11 ( Week end 27th)
  • ^1 "Is This the Way to Amarillo", though released expressly with the intent of proceeds going to Comic Relief, was not an official Comic Relief single. The song was originally performed by Peter Kay (lipsynching to Tony Christie's voice) during the evening, and was later released as a single. It was the number one single for seven weeks, and in its first week it outsold the rest of the Top 20 combined.
  • ^2 In 2007, a version of The Proclaimers song "500 Miles", released on 19 March, featured Peter Kay and Matt Lucas as their wheelchair-user characters Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin. Before its official release, the song reached Number 3 based on downloads alone. The single reached Number one on 25 March, knocking official Comic Relief single "Walk This Way" off the top spot.
  • ^3 In 2009, the comedy release took prominence over the single release by a mainstream recording artist. Gavin and Stacey's Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon covered "Islands in the Stream" for the event, with this being released on the week of Comic Relief. The Saturdays released their record a week earlier.

In addition, the first Red Nose Day Schools' song ('Make Someone Happy') was published in 2007. A CD of the song, together with backing tracks and fundraising ideas was sent free of charge to all primary schools in the UK in February by the education music publisher 'Out of the Ark Music'. Schools will be free to use the song in assemblies, singathons, or other fundraising activities. A second Red Nose Day Song has been released for every school in the UK to use free of charge. It can be downloaded from the Red Nose Day 09 website, or watched on YouTube, and a copy is being sent to every primary school in the UK. It has again been published by "Out of the Ark" music, and contains a more upbeat melody than the 2007 song. It was recorded at Hook Studios, Hook, Surrey, by the Out of the Ark Choir, which is completely made up of children. The children in the video wear Stella McCartney's special edition Comic Relief T-Shirts, and has been filmed in black and white so only the red stands out.

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