Comic Relief 1993 – tape 1450

This tape starts with a trailer for Saturday Night programmes.

Then we’re straight into Comic Relief 1993, subtitled The Invasion of the Comic Tomatoes, and has a film-based title sequence, starting, oddly, with a clip from the Genesis Effect from Star Trek II.

First presenter is Lenny Henry in a suitably tomato-inflected suit.

Lenny Henry

Next, it’s a special edition of Blind Date presented by Cilla Black.

Cilla Black

The contestants look familiar – there’s Alan Cumming, and Mr Bean.

Alan Cumming and Mr Bean

Then next segment is the ‘Snottery’ giving away prizes, presented by Chris Evans

Chris Evans and Lenny Henry

There’s a special ;interactive’ episode of Casualty, featuring Judith Hann as the victim of a Tomorrow’s World demonstration gone wrong

Judith Hann

The famous and glamorous actress Kate O’Mara

Kate O'Mara

Some of the choices for the audience don’t make much sense. How many Star Trek scripts were written in 1972?

1972 Star Trek Script

With bonus appearances from Keith Chegwin and Phil Collins

Phil Collins and Keith Chegwin

Then a special segment with Smashie and Nicey.

Smashie and Nicey

This includes a star studded version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

It’s rather odd to see Jill Dando in there, rocking away to a Freddie Mercury song, given that the man who was convicted of killing her (then later acquitted) had an obsession with Freddie Mercury.

An even greater crime is the singing of the Birds of a Feather crew. Shocking.

Smashie and Nicey are a bit cutting about Terry Christian, and there’s also a mention of ‘Jimmy Savlon’.

There’s another bit of Chris Evans and the Snottery, which isn’t really working for me. Then, they go on location to a viewer’s house somewhere in the country, where Right Said Fred have set up a stage and perform the Comic Relief song Stick It Out, which I’d totally forgotten, but which was familiar when I saw it again, particularly when they’re joined at the end (on the song at least) by Bernard Cribbins.

Right Said Fred

Then Smashie and Nicey are joined briefly by Jonathan Ross, and Harry Enfield makes a bit of a faux pas when he says ‘Piss off, Rossy’ and they both realise that it’s before the watershed, and do a lot of apologizing in character. It’s one of the funniest things on the night.

Rossy joins Smashie and Nicey

Then, Jonathan Ross presents the first part of Game for a Game, a portmanteau quiz show featuring a glittering array of celebrities. No really, it’s actually quite an amazing lineup.

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry

Frank Carson

Frank Carson

Ulrika Jonsson

Ulrika Jonsson

Richard O'Brien

Richard O’Brien

Clive Anderson

Clive Anderson

Andi Peters

Andi Peters

Prince Phillip (or at least a stunning simulacrum)

Prince Phillip (or at least a stunning simulacrum)

Moira Stuart

Moira Stuart

Glenys Kinnock

Glenys Kinnock

Nicholas Parsons

Nicholas Parsons

Nina Myskow

Nina Myskow

Gordon the Gopher

Gordon the Gopher

Tim Brooke Taylor

Tim Brooke Taylor

Lisa Stansfield

Lisa Stansfield

and Danny Baker 

and Danny Baker

Naturally, with fifteen contestants, the first game they play is Fifteen to One, during which Gordon the Gopher, Frank Carson and Clive Anderson were eliminated.

After a big cheque from Woolworths (‘Pick and Mixtastic’) the second part of the big quiz show is Family Fortunes. They don’t quite play it the same as the TV show – there’s no ‘get ready to steal’, but their scoreboard looks authentic.

Family Fortunes Scoreboard

Here’s all of Smashie and Nicey’s stuff.

There’s more from the Snottery, then Smashie and Nicey hand back to Lenny Henry to introduce the Mr Bean Blind Date.

Mr Bean Blind Date

After this, the programme stops for the news, at which point my recording switches to Ruby Wax and Geoff Hamilton pulling red noses out of flowerpots on BBC2.

Ruby Wax and Geoff Hamilton

Then there’s a classic episode of Not The Nine O’Clock News. Including the classic Game for a Laugh parody.

Not Game for a Laugh

I’m not sure this is a full episode or a compilation, because it does have a Comic Relief phone numbers segment in it.

It also features Nice Video, Shame about the Song

Nice Video Shame about the Song

And silly golf trousers – Did I watch this on another tape recently, or was it something on real telly? I definitely watched it recently.

BBC Genome (Not The Nine O’Clock News): BBC Two – 12th March 1993 – 21:00

After this, back to BBC1 for more from the main show, now presented by Griff Rhys Jones and Angus Deayton

Griff Rhys Jones and Angus Deayton

There’s a set of secret auditions for famous TV characters. The posit Michael Buerk and Peter Sissons as presenters of Mastermind – this predates John Humphreys getting the gig.

Ross Kemp tries out for Jimmy Savile’s job – presenting Jim’ll Fix It, that is.

Grant'll Fix It

Bob Holness tries out for Monty Python

Bob Holness

As does Denis Healey

Denis Healey

And Terry Wogan

Terry Wogan

I noticed the use of Love Can Build a Bridge on one of the donation section – this might have been where the idea to use it as the official single two years later.

There’s a mashup quiz, Have I Got A Question of Sport for You. Presented by Deayton in a Colemanesque jumper.

Angus Deayton in a jumper

Frank Bruno is on Ian’s team

Frank Bruno

Bill Beaumont is on Paul’s Team.

Bill Beaumont

After this, the next segment is presented by French and Saunders.

French and Saunders

There’s a battle of the sex gods between Barry White and Prince (sound the VHiStory death klaxon – as of this writing Prince died about a week ago). Both are played by Lenny Henry, so maybe that doesn’t really count. Although the sketch ends with Barry White sitting on Prince and squashing him, so maybe it was a portent.

Lenny Henry does Prince

Dawn French gets in some nice digs at Jennifer Saunders about AbFab. Then there’s a special segment of One Foot in the Grave featuring Victor Meldrew in a bath.

Richard Wilson

The tape ends just after that sketch.

BBC Genome (main Comic Relief show): BBC One – 12th March 1993 – 19:00

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2 comments

  1. You did talk about Not The Nine O’Clock News on this blog recently, I droned on about it at great length in these comments. As far as I know, that episode of Not The Nine O’Clock News was a compilation, but a contemporary compilation produced while the series was still a going concern, with a bit of re-editing to fill up the half hour. It was the first time I ever saw Not The Nine O’Clock News at any great length.

    This was the first Comic Relief where they changed presenters throughout the evening, rather than, as in previous years, having Lenny, Griff and Jonathan present the whole thing all night. To me it was never quite the same because I loved the idea of them being on air for hours non-stop. I was very excited to see Chris Evans, though, because at the time I was obsessed with The Big Breakfast and thought he was the best person on telly. I’m pretty sure this was his first ever appearance on BBC1 – and his second was the following night when he appeared on Noel’s House Party via NTV.

    Note also that this is the last Red Nose Day to have umpteen different phone numbers to donate.

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