Region rallies for Red Nose Day

GENEROUS Britons dug deep to raise a huge amount of money for Comic Relief last night .Kind-hearted viewers watching the mammoth night of comedy on BBC1 had already raised more than £21million by 10pm, with many donations still flooding in.

GENEROUS Britons dug deep to raise a huge amount of money for Comic Relief last night .

Kind-hearted viewers watching the mammoth night of comedy on BBC1 had already raised more than £21million by 10pm, with many donations still flooding in.

Six million red noses were sold in aid of yesterday's event which is held every two years.

The night of television entertainment was hosted by Jonathan Ross, also featuring comedians Lenny Henry and Harry Hill.


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One of the highlights of the evening was the final of the Celebrity Fame Academy – in the run up to last night voters had already raised £1.1 million for Comic Relief by using the phone to pick their favourite singer.

Earlier the public voted comedian Adrian Edmondson, 48, out of the competition leaving Radio One's Edith Bowman, 30, and EastEnders' actress Kim Medcalf, 30 - to go head-to-head in a final singing contestant. It was eventually won by Edith.

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Meanwhile, a string of Red Nose Day events were also held throughout Suffolk yesterday by schools, businesses and individuals.

A headteacher swapped his shirt and tie for the famous suit of a crime fighting comic book hero to raise money and a smile for Comic Relief.

Geoff Barton, head at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds, donned a Batman outfit and patrolled the corridors – to the amusement of his pupils.

Mr Barton was ably supported by assistant head John Sutton - dressed as Robin - during yesterday's lunch hour.

With other staff also bravely turning up in fancy dress, the school hoped to raise more than £500 for Comic Relief.

BBC Radio Suffolk's first outside bedcast took place yesterday as part of the Comic Relief fundraising.

As it is National Bed month and Red Nose day, presenter Lesley Dolphin decided to bring her show live from a double bed – in a shop window.

She broadcast between 10am and 1pm from the bed at Brett's Furniture store in Westgate Street, Ipswich, joined by a number of guests throughout her show.

Trevor Clarke and Andrew Mowles, from Hadleigh, dressed in drag and joined the fundraising effort for Comic Relief.

The pair, who work in the plumbing department at Partridges in Hadleigh, donned their frocks and declared "I'm a lady" after being inspired by a sketch in the Little Britain series.

The aptly-named Sally Chicken, 44, of Main Road, Chelmondiston, laid aside her embarrassment to brave the streets of Ipswich dressed as her feathered namesake to collect donations for Comic Relief.

And Bury St Edmunds brewer Greene King held its very own fame academy to raise money for Comic Relief 2005.

Meanwhile, a unique copy of the East Anglian Daily Times has been auctioned for more than 300 times its cover price.

Yesterday's edition of the paper was a special one-off following the guest editorship of BBC Radio Suffolk afternoon show host, Rachel Sloane.

She swapped jobs with EADT editor, Terry Hunt, who then took to the airwaves and auctioned off a copy of the paper with the money raised going to Comic Relief.

Bids came flying in and the eventual winner was Malcolm Cordle from Clacton who paid a whopping £155 for his specially signed edition.

Last night he said: "I am very pleased, I just think it is such a good cause and well worth the money, although I admit I did get a bit carried away with the bidding."

During the last Comic Relief fund-raiser in 2003, a total of £61 million was raised for charities at home and in Africa.

Since its inception in 1985, Comic Relief has raised more than £337 million for 6,000 charity projects.

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