The Red Nose Day campaign to end child poverty encourages people nationwide to come together, get their “Noses On,” have fun, and fundraise for the cause. It all culminates in a star-studded night of special Red Nose Day programming on NBC.
As the broadcast partner of the campaign, NBC has harnessed the power of media and the reach of our platforms to help Red Nose Day raise over $145 million in just its first four years, positively impacting the lives of millions of children in the United States and around the world.
In 2017, NBC delivered a three-hour block of primetime programming on May 25, Red Nose Day. The night was capped off with the third annual Red Nose Day Special, broadcast live from the Rockefeller Plaza. Hosted by Chris Hardwick, it included comedy; entertainment; and short, compelling films that shed light on children in need. Bryan Cranston, Jack Black, Mindy Kaling, Paul Rudd, Seth Meyers, DJ Khaled, Ben Stiller, Kenan Thompson, the This Is Us cast, and more came out to have fun and make a difference. The special also featured Red Nose Day Actually, the much-anticipated reunion mini-sequel to Love Actually, which caught up with cast members from the beloved holiday film. Actors reprising their roles for the occasion included Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, and Bill Nighy.
In addition, the night included the first-ever celebrity edition of American Ninja Warrior — Celebrity Ninja Warrior for Red Nose Day — hosted by Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila, with celebrities’ efforts on the course rewarded by donations to support the cause. Following this was a special episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls featuring Julia Roberts venturing to Kenya. Navigating a hazardous route through a harsh desert, canyons, and a crocodile-infested river, Roberts and Grylls delivered life-saving polio vaccines to children in a remote village.
Red Nose Day’s 2017 campaign raised more than $40 million, which has supported numerous programs to ensure children who are living in poverty are safe, healthy, and educated — in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and some of the poorest communities internationally.
In 2018, NBC delivered another impactful night of programming on Red Nose Day. The fourth annual Red Nose Day Special was once again hosted by Chris Hardwick and featured a star-studded lineup of incredible talent, including Kelly Clarkson, Ben Stiller, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Ed Sheeran, Sean Hayes, Kristen Bell, Sasheer Zamata, Marlon Wayans, and Lauren Graham, who traveled to Puerto Rico to share stories of children hit hard by Hurricane Maria.
Marking its second year was Celebrity Ninja Warrior for Red Nose Day, in addition to a special edition of Hollywood Game Night, hosted by Jane Lynch, featuring some of entertainment’s A-listers competing to raise money and awareness for children in need. A campaign total of over $42 million was announced on the live broadcast at the end of the night.
Launched in the United Kingdom in 1988, Red Nose Day is run by the nonprofit Comic Relief USA, which harnesses the power of entertainment to drive positive change.
“We recognize that our platform enables us to entertain, connect, and mobilize our viewers for important causes,” says Hilary Smith, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility at NBCUniversal. “Through our partnership with Red Nose Day, we are proud to inspire our audience and raise awareness and funds for children in need.”
Money raised in Red Nose Day’s first three years in the United States has positively impacted the lives of over 8.3 million children in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and in over 25 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Funds have provided over 32 million meals to hungry children in the United States, essential medical services to over 6.7 million children worldwide, educational support to over 850,000 children, and support to over 60,000 homeless and street children. The money raised in 2018 will make a difference for millions more.
In addition to providing programming support, in 2017 Comcast NBCUniversal deepened our partnership with Red Nose Day and supported 24 City Year Teams in 19 cities. City Year places AmeriCorps members into schools in high-need urban communities to provide tutoring, mentoring, and support that helps kids to stay in school, stay on track, and graduate.