BBC Radio stars stand up for Comic Relief
Stand Up for Comic Relief returns for 2011 bigger and more fiercely fought than ever. This year, BBC Radio's chucklesome challenge has been thrown wide open to now include six presenters from across the BBC's national stations, who will be battling for the illustrious title of Stand Up for Comic Relief Champion 2011.
The fearless sextet will compete in a test of wit, bravery and sheer silliness by trying their hand at stand-up comedy, in front of a live audience, in order to win the votes of the listeners at home and most importantly raise lots of money for Comic Relief.
Find out who will be this year's king or queen of comedy when the results are announced simultaneously across the BBC Radio networks on Red Nose Day, Friday 18 March.
This year's contestants are: Dev from Radio 1, Tony Blackburn from Radio 2, Tom Service from Radio 3, Jenni Murray from Radio 4, Tony Livesey from 5 Live and Shaun Keaveny from 6 Music.
The plucky troupe met last week for the first time at The Comedy Store in London, where they were given a comedy masterclass by Radio 4's Mark Thomas. Over the following two weeks each of the fledgling comics will be mentored by a different professional comedian, who will help them develop and perfect a three-minute stand-up routine.
The pairs are as follows: Dev is to be mentored by Chris Ramsey, Tony Blackburn by Julian Clary, Tom Service by Sandi Toksvig, Jenni Murray by Mark Steel, Tony Livesey by Justin Moorhouse and Shaun Keaveny by Miles Jupp.
The end result of this two-week intensive comic training will be a performance at The Comedy Store on Tuesday 22 February 2011, 1-2pm. A limited number of free audience tickets are available from Monday 14 February at 9am through the BBC Shows, Tours and Live Events website.
Here the six presenters ruminate upon the task ahead of them:
"This is one of the most exciting and terrifying things I have ever agreed to do. My closest friends find me vaguely amusing so it will be interesting to see how my sense of humour will work in a room of strangers."
"I'm a great admirer of stand-up comics but I've never wanted to be one. I have a reputation for corny gags but on radio it takes 10 seconds then I put a record on – I don't have to rely on getting a reaction. I'm petrified! Someone said to me 'It's another challenge' – I'm 68! I don't want another challenge but it's Red Nose Day!"
"How do I feel? Like just before I went on Oblivion for the first time at Alton Towers – queasy, discombobulated, overawed. All in all more than a wee bit funny."
"It won't be much of a relief for me, I'm terrified! I only know one joke and that is from the Chuckle Brothers. Still, my humiliation will be for a good cause."
"I have been asked to provide a response to the news that I will be competing in a Red Nose Day laugh-off with radio colleagues from the other networks culminating in a live stand-up gig in two weeks. So as not to use the word terrified, here are some others: horrified, nauseous, cotton-mouthed, shuddering, woebegone, petrified, panic stricken..."Shaun Keaveny, 6 Music
To hear how the giggling gang get on, tune into the three-part series Stand Up for Comic Relief, Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 March at 11-11.30pm and Wednesday 9 March at 6.30-7pm, on BBC Radio 4.
You can follow their progress across BBC Radio in build up to Red Nose Day as the comedy newcomers try to win your all important votes. So don't miss the chance to have a good laugh, get behind your favourite jokester and help raise money for Comic Relief.
To join in the fun go to www.rednoseday.com and find out how you canDo Something Funny for Money. By raising cash this Red Nose Day, you can help change lives forever. Comic Relief spends all the money raised by the public on giving vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa a helping hand to turn their lives around.
Notes to Editors
Further information on BBC Radio presenters taking part:
Dev presents Early Morning Weekdays, 4–6:30am on BBC Radio 1. Dev's profile.
Tony Blackburn presents Pick of the Pops, 1-3pm on BBC Radio 2.
Tom Service presents Music Matters, Saturday 12.15-1pm on BBC Radio 3.
Jenni Murray presents Woman's Hour, Weekdays 10-11am on BBC Radio 4.
Tony Livesey presents Monday to Thursday Evenings, 10.30pm-1am on BBC 5 live.
Shaun Keaveny presents the Breakfast Show, Weekdays 7-10am on BBC 6 Music.
Red Nose Day:
Red Nose Day 2011 is heading your way on Friday 18 March when the great British public will once again be asked to Do Something Funny for Money.
To join in the fun go to www.rednoseday.com and find out how you can get involved.
By raising cash this Red Nose Day, you're helping to change lives forever. That's because Comic Relief spends all the money raised by the public to give extremely vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa a helping hand to turn their lives around.
Comic Relief was launched on Christmas Day in 1985, live on BBC One. At that time, a devastating famine was crippling Ethiopia and something had to be done. That something was Comic Relief. The idea was simple – Comic Relief would make the public laugh while they raised money to help people in desperate need. Before too long, Red Nose Day was created and the first ever event in 1988 raised a staggering £15m. To date, twelve Red Nose Days have raised more than £500m. That money has helped, and is helping, to support people and communities in dire need both in the UK and Africa.