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Children In Need and Comic Relief to join forces for coronavirus charity night

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief are to join together for the first time in a special televised event, raising money for those affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Big Night In on BBC One will celebrate the British public’s community spirit and resilience, while offering a programme of light entertainment hosted remotely by a cast of famous faces.

Money raised will be split equally between the two charities to provide support to local projects and programmes across the UK.

The evening will include prize giveaways, live music performances from artists at home, and a series of celebrity appearances.

Charlotte Moore, director 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.”

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 co-ordinate our efforts in the battle against coronavirus and remind everyone to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Simon Antrobus, chief executive of BBC Children In Need, said: “These are challenging times for all of us, and the pandemic will have a significant impact on the most vulnerable people in our society.

“The Big Night In will offer the chance for everyone to (virtually) get together to celebrate the kindness and heroism of those making a real difference in their communities, and to support people across the UK who need our help now more than ever.”

Comic Relief’s chief executive Ruth Davison said: “Throughout this extraordinary time the kindness and community spirit of people across the country has been outstanding.

“The Big Night In is the perfect opportunity to praise the heroes who are caring for us, feeding us, and lifting our spirits as we continue to help people most in need.”

The show will be broadcast on BBC One on Thursday April 23 between 7 and 10pm.

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