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Sir Lenny Henry says people need Red Nose Day now more than ever.
The 63-year-old comedian—best known for co-founding charity Comic Relief—has insisted the “familiarity” of Red Nose Day, which takes place on Friday, March 18, is vital amid the coronavirus pandemic when people still aren’t seeing family members.
He told ‘BBC Breakfast:’
“When everybody is not seeing their mums and dads and their grans, when everybody is struggling because of the pandemic.
“The fact that there is something that they can plug into that’s familiar, that has people they know, that has heart and love and comedy at its core, we all love to watch and to laugh.”
Red Nose Day—founded in 1988—is the annual fundraising campaign set up by the non-profit organization Comic Relief.
Lenny is one of Britain’s best-known and loved personalities, working as an actor, writer, comedian, and television personality. Lenny is known for films like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Penelope Krull, and more.
After co-founding Comic Relief in 1985 and later beginning the annual campaign Red Nose Day, Lenny has been recognized as a driving force of the charity, working with the organization for more than 20 years and has since been appointed as an Honorary Life President of Comic Relief.
Its mission is to end child poverty by raising money to fund programs to help keep children safe, healthy, and educated.
Lenny added: “It comically provides a space where we can gather together and watch things and go, ‘Well actually, things aren’t so bad; I’m going to help out with that.’
“On the night, for me, it’s just the joy of watching the comical pantomime, or those guys singing opera where they’ve never sung it before. All of these things are extraordinary to me, makes me want to help out, makes me want to give, and that, for me, is what Comic Relief has always been about.”
Lenny, who was knighted for his work as the charity’s trustee, is touched by people’s generosity in times of hardship and says it’s something we should truly be proud of.
He said: “Moments of true sincerity where you are moved to do something that you normally wouldn’t do, like reach into your pockets and give $1, $2, $3, $4 or $5, that’s always been the case.
“And I think the general public’s generosity in times of hardship when they see somebody that is worse off than themselves, they just want to help.
“They help in places like this and the third world, too, and it’s something that we should be proud of.”