News, Culture & Society

Comic Relief 2022: BBC viewers marvel at Lenny Henry’s trim physique as telethon kicks off

BBC viewers were left surprised by Lenny Henry’s trim physique as he hosted Comic Relief on Friday night, while fans were left confused when the TV spectacular was hit by technical blunders early on.

Lenny Henry, who founded Comic Relief in 1985, kicked off the Red Nose Day telethon, filmed with Salford, by dancing on to the stage alongside his co-hosts David Tennant, Paddy McGuinness and Alesha Dixon.

But as he returned to yet again present this year, viewers were distracted by the 63-year-old comedian’s time-defying looks as they praised his excellent physique, as he took to stage looking trim in a navy suit paired with a bright blue shirt. 

Red Nose Day: Comic Relief kicked off on Friday night but fans were left unimpressed after Comic Relief’s best bits from over the years were shown, before any new material made it to the screens

Timeless: And viewers were left surprised by the 63-year-old comedian's time-defying looks as they praised his excellent looks

Timeless: And viewers were left surprised by the 63-year-old comedian’s time-defying looks as they praised his excellent looks

One amazed Twitter user wrote: ‘Lenny Henry you get better with age #likeafinewine’

While another said: ‘Wait what 63??? You look fantastic’ 

And a third commented: ‘How does Lenny Henry look younger now than he did 30 years ago?!’ 

A fourth penned: ‘You know when you’ve not seen someone for ages and you don’t recognise them, I just did that with Lenny Henry!’

Another added: ‘Bloody hell Lenny Henry looks incredible!’ 

Elsewhere on the show, fans were left baffled when the Mind Mangler from Magic Goes Wrong arrived on stage for his Comic Relief sketch, only to be told that there was a technical fault.

Twitter users were left confused about whether there was actually a technical fault, or whether it was all part of the show, as his short appearance on stage appeared to be quickly derailed.

Viewers couldn’t hear the Mind Mangler, with the voices of Jude Law and Eddie Redmayne still being heard from the Fantastic Beasts part of the show, where they surprised groups of school children to say thank you for their work raising money for Comic Relief.

But fans couldn’t work out whether it actually went wrong or not, while others quipped that it was ironic that it was the Magic Goes Wrong segment that was hit by errors. 

Incredible! One Twitter user wrote: 'Lenny Henry you get better with age #likeafinewine'

Incredible! One Twitter user wrote: ‘Lenny Henry you get better with age #likeafinewine’

One fan wrote: ‘Wtf I can’t believe they messed up the @mischiefcomedy bit on @comicrelief.’

Another penned: ‘Has it actually just gone wrong?!?!’

A third tweeted: ‘#ComicRelief The Goes Wrong Show Goes Wrong’

And a fourth said: ‘Is it wrong that I genuinely can’t tell if that Mind Mangler bit was genuinely supposed to happen, or if it was an actual technical fault? #comicrelief’

But the problem was cleared up when the Mind Mangler later returned to the stage, proving that the blunder had indeed been a technical error. Thankfully, the second attempt at the sketch went off without another hitch.

When Comic Relief kicked off on Friday night, fans were also left unimpressed after Comic Relief’s best bits from over the years were shown, before any new material made it to the screens.

Oh no! Elsewhere, fans were left baffled when the Mind Mangler from Magic Goes Wrong arrived on stage for his Comic Relief sketch, only to be told that there was a technical fault

Oh no! Elsewhere, fans were left baffled when the Mind Mangler from Magic Goes Wrong arrived on stage for his Comic Relief sketch, only to be told that there was a technical fault

The highlights included sketches from Catherine Tate, David Walliams, James Cordon – as Gavin and Stacey’s Smithy – and Comic Relief regulars Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. 

Following the reel, Lenny Henry quipped that there would be ‘millennials’ at home wondering who the celebrities in the sketches even were.

Elsewhere during the telethon, Jack Whitehall hosted a mini-golf challenge with Declan Rice and Mason Mount.

The comedian failed to show off his sporting talents in front of the two football players as he struggled to play mini golf, quipping that he was better at ‘polo’. 

In a bid to soften the loss, he criticised Declan, who soared in the lead, for being interested in golf at 23 years old, saying it was too young to be talented at the sport.

Confusion: Twitter users were left baffled about whether there was actually a technical fault, or whether it was all part of the show, as his short appearance on stage appeared to be quickly derailed

Confusion: Twitter users were left baffled about whether there was actually a technical fault, or whether it was all part of the show, as his short appearance on stage appeared to be quickly derailed

In the end, it was Declan who seized victory and took the mini-golf trophy, before he forced avid Arsenal fan Jack to wear a West Ham football shirt, who then put on a hilarious London accent in the gear.

Tom Daley also appeared live on stage alongside hosts Alesha Dixon and Paddy McGuinness, and was met by deafening rounds of applause from the crowd.

He featured on the show to talk about his epic endurance fundraising challenge for Comic Relief, which saw him cycle, row, swim and run from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford to his hometown of Plymouth. 

Speaking about the challenge, he admitted that he wasn’t able to walk for weeks afterwards, saying his husband Dustin even had to carry him to the toilet.

Errors: But the problem was cleared up when the Mind Mangler later returned to the stage, proving that the blunder had indeed been a technical error. Thankfully, the second attempt at the sketch went off without another hitch

The experienced diver also revealed that despite leaping into swimming pools, he is scared of open water and did not like plunging into the ice cold water. But the discomfort paid off, as he raised a staggering £1,027,111. 

In a pre-filmed clip, Tom also opened up about losing his father at 17 years old as he visited a teenager called Matilda, who recently lost her father when he died of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome.

Speaking after meeting her, he said: ‘Matilda and Lena are just the sweetest and you can they have been through a really rough time and it reminded me a lot of how my family and I were when we lost my dad and the struggles that came with it. It’s really important to have that support system around you.’

Elsewhere, Britain’s dog trial was given a Red Nose Day twist as comedians Tim Vine and Kiri Pritchard-McLean headed to the Welsh countryside to take on Countryfile’s One Red Nose and Their Dog competition. 

Sports: Elsewhere during the telethon, Jack Whitehall hosted a mini-golf challenge with Declan Rice and Mason Mount. The comedian failed to show off his sporting talents in front of the two football players

Sports: Elsewhere during the telethon, Jack Whitehall hosted a mini-golf challenge with Declan Rice and Mason Mount. The comedian failed to show off his sporting talents in front of the two football players

Unimpressed: In the end, it was Declan who seized victory and took the mini-golf trophy, before he forced Arsenal fan Jack to wear a West Ham football shirt, who then put on a hilarious London accent in the gear

Unimpressed: In the end, it was Declan who seized victory and took the mini-golf trophy, before he forced Arsenal fan Jack to wear a West Ham football shirt, who then put on a hilarious London accent in the gear

The challenge saw the comedians put their newfound sheepdog skills to the test in a bid to be crowned the champions in the one-off special.

Tim took the crown with his pooch Lara, as he shouted ‘yes’ and cheered as he was declared the winner with 67 points, before adding: ‘But I’m quite humble about it.’

Kiri, who was beaten by two points, said: ‘Absolutely furious that Tim won!’ 

The cast of & Juliet also took to the stage and performed an exceptional compilation of songs from their hit West End Show, giving a jam-packed musical performance that left fans amazed. 

Comic Relief was set up in 1985 by scriptwriter Richard Curtis and comedian Lenny Henry to raise money for people around the world and in the United Kingdom. 

Out in the country: Elsewhere, Britain's dog trial was given a Red Nose Day twist as comedians Tim Vine and Kiri Pritchard-McLean headed to the Welsh countryside to take on Countryfile's One Red Nose and Their Dog competition

Out in the country: Elsewhere, Britain’s dog trial was given a Red Nose Day twist as comedians Tim Vine and Kiri Pritchard-McLean headed to the Welsh countryside to take on Countryfile’s One Red Nose and Their Dog competition

Proud: Tim took the crown with his pooch Lara, as he shouted 'yes' and cheered as he was declared the winner with 67 points, before adding: 'But I'm quite humble about it'

Proud: Tim took the crown with his pooch Lara, as he shouted ‘yes’ and cheered as he was declared the winner with 67 points, before adding: ‘But I’m quite humble about it’

The highlight of Comic Relief’s appeal is the annual Red Nose Day telethon.

The charity’s website detailed: ‘Red Nose Day is coming. And whatever you do, no matter how small, you can help people live free from poverty, violence and discrimination.’

Money raised by Red Nose Day will support vital life changing work in the UK and around the world which includes tackling homelessness, domestic abuse, poverty and mental health problems, all of which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Before the much-anticipated Red Nose Day telethon kicked off, David and Harper Beckham and Denise Van Outen led a slew of stars celebrating Comic Relief. 

'Happy Red Nose Day!': David and Harper Beckham donned Red Noses for an adorable photo on Friday as they led the stars celebrating Comic Relief Day before the telethon kicked off

‘Happy Red Nose Day!’: David and Harper Beckham donned Red Noses for an adorable photo on Friday as they led the stars celebrating Comic Relief Day before the telethon kicked off

Footballer David, 46, and his daughter, 10, took to Instagram in their funny animal shaped Red Noses and struck a pose for the camera.

Looking every inch the doting dad, David penned: ‘Happy Red Nose Day from daddy & Harper Seven.’

David cut a casual figure as she showcased his heavily tattooed neck in a white T-shirt and black framed glasses. 

Little Harper beamed next to her dad as they held their noses close together in honour of the charitable cause. 

In another throwback photo, David penned: ‘Always such a fun night for a great cause.’

The Red Nose is the symbol for the Comic Relief charity, yet not everyone got the memo, with Denise, 48, posing alongside Pudsey Bear – the mascot for Children In Need. 

Oops: The Red Nose is the symbol for the Comic Relief charity, yet not everyone got the memo, with Denise Van Outen, 48, posing alongside Pudsey Bear - the mascot for Children In Need

Oops: The Red Nose is the symbol for the Comic Relief charity, yet not everyone got the memo, with Denise Van Outen, 48, posing alongside Pudsey Bear – the mascot for Children In Need

While both Children In Need and Comic Relief have telethons broadcast on BBC One, they are not the same charity. 

Children in Need is the BBC’s UK charity, that since 1980 has raised over £1billion for disadvantaged children and young people in the UK. 

Meanwhile, television personality Caprice Bourret, 50, shared a flurry of throwback photos as she took to Instagram to celebrate. 

The presenter posed alongside Keith Lemon as she penned: ‘I am so proud to have been part of this amazing charity over the years… can’t wait to watch tonight @bbc @keithlemon.’ 

Support: In another throwback photo, David penned: 'Always such a fun night for a great cause'

Support: In another throwback photo, David penned: ‘Always such a fun night for a great cause’

Oh dear: Denise posed with Pudsey to plug Comic Relief but while both Children In Need and Comic Relief have telethons broadcast on BBC One, they are not the same charity

Oh dear: Denise posed with Pudsey to plug Comic Relief but while both Children In Need and Comic Relief have telethons broadcast on BBC One, they are not the same charity

Good cause! Meanwhile, television personality Caprice Bourret, 50, shared a flurry of throwback photos as she took to Instagram to celebrate

Good cause! Meanwhile, television personality Caprice Bourret, 50, shared a flurry of throwback photos as she took to Instagram to celebrate

Blast from the past! She posed alongside presenter Keith Lemon

 Blast from the past! She posed alongside presenter Keith Lemon

Pose! Caprice looked stunning as she penned: 'I am so proud to have been part of this amazing charity over the years'

Pose! Caprice looked stunning as she penned: ‘I am so proud to have been part of this amazing charity over the years’

Fun: The model showcased an array of red noses as she sported another that featured hair

Fun: The model showcased an array of red noses as she sported another that featured hair 

Actress Suranne Jones, 43, joined the ranks of celebrities who sported red noses as she donned hers alongside her husband Laurence Akers. 

The Coronation Street star was beaming as she supported the charity with the fun selfie.   

She penned: ‘After two years of lockdowns and restrictions, the need has never been greater. Donations will help people here and around the world. This includes people in the Ukraine and those fleeing the country. Please tune in and give what you can.’ 

Comic Relief: Actress Suranne Jones, 43, joined the ranks of celebrities who sported red noses as she donned hers alongside her husband Laurence Akers for a fun selfie

Comic Relief: Actress Suranne Jones, 43, joined the ranks of celebrities who sported red noses as she donned hers alongside her husband Laurence Akers for a fun selfie 

Red Nose Day 2022 will be hosted by Alesha Dixon, David Tennant, Paddy McGuinness and Sir Lenny Henry, plus The Great Comic Relief Prizeathon will be hosted by Joel Dommett and AJ Odudu on Friday.  

Zoe Ball was due to present but had to pull out after testing positive for COVID-19. Alesha will now be working a ‘double shift’ to cover her absence. 

Joel Dommett and pop superstar Kylie Minogue also had to pull out of the event after positive Covid tests.

Stars: Red Nose Day 2022 will be hosted by Joel Dommett, AJ Odudu, David Tennant, Sir Lenny Henry, Alesha Dixon and Paddy McGuinness on Friday

Stars: Red Nose Day 2022 will be hosted by Joel Dommett, AJ Odudu, David Tennant, Sir Lenny Henry, Alesha Dixon and Paddy McGuinness on Friday

Oh dear: Zoe Ball has pulled out of presenting Comic Relief 2022 after testing positive for COVID-19

Oh dear: Zoe Ball has pulled out of presenting Comic Relief 2022 after testing positive for COVID-19

Zoe wrote on Instagram: ‘pook ! fell at last hurdle and have had positive lat flows this am- noooooooo.

‘Gorgeous @AleshaOfficial is going to work the double shift tonight on @ComicRelief, i owe you lady love – good luck to A, Lenny, David, Paddy, AJ, Vernon, & the @comicrelief gang.’

Kylie was due to appear in a sketch with the cast of BBC comedy Ghosts but said on Thursday night that she would be watching from home after catching the virus. 

Comedian Joel, who also hosts ITV’s The Masked Singer, was forced to pull out of presenting late-night show The Great Comic Relief Prizeathon alongside AJ Odudu after also returning a positive test. He was replaced by TV star Vernon Kay.

For the latest Red Nose Day news and to find out how to donate, visit bbc.co.uk/rednoseday   

Oh dear: The star shared a snap of her positive Lateral Flow Test along with a sad caption

Oh dear: The star shared a snap of her positive Lateral Flow Test along with a sad caption

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk