Friday, March 13, 2009

Who Gives A Damn About Comic Relief

The absence of a question mark in this post will, hopefully, provide something of a clue to my feelings on this subject; I like Comic Relief a great deal, and I think it's also very wise that 50% of the money raised goes to UK-based charities, and the other 50% to overseas work, because it rather defuses the whole "charity begins at home" argument which some people use instead of saying "I don't want to give to charity".

Granted, a lot of the comedy in the televised sections of Comic Relief doesn't really float my boat, and I suffer a kind of emotional whiplash when they go from a Blackadder sketch to a film about children dying of some preventable illness, but that's more my psychology than anything else, and it's all aimed at making people's lives better, for crying out loud. You can't question that motivation without seeming curmudgeonly (even if it is regrettable that there's a need for charities at all).

So, I support Comic Relief (in both the abstract and practical sense), and was suitably impressed with the group of celebrities who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Comic Relief (you can find more details here), as I did the same thing a few years ago, and it's hard work, so I recommend you sling them a bit of money by way of a well-done.

However, as well as the red noses and novelty singles which you can buy to funnel your money to Comic Relief, something which appears to have received slightly less publicity is the fact that they've made various Comic Relief Specials available to buy via iTunes. There's a Vicar of Dibley one, a Mr Bean one, and a couple of others, but to my mind, most notable is the fact that you can, for the very reasonable sum of £1.49, download a copy of Doctor Who And The Curse Of Fatal Death.

Just in case you're not familiar with it, this 23-minute special was the first televised DW story written by Steven Moffatt, and features a number of people you might have heard of (surname hints: Atkinson, Sawalha, Pryce, Grant, Broadbent, Lumley). Is it part of the Who canon? I dunno, but it's not been released on DVD, and so here's your chance to have a look at it, have a laugh, and some money to go to a worthwhile cause. If I may put it so crudely, cop this button-style-link (tsk, after that lack of manners, I hope it works):

The Best of Comic Relief - The Best of Comic Relief, Vol. 1 - Doctor Who Does Comic Relief

If you've read this far, I hope you'll see the true meaning of the title of this post; if the Doctor, a fictional character, can support Comic Relief, those of us in this reality can probably make our own contribution, wouldn't you say?

3 comments:

Stuart Peel said...

Whilst I admire the money they raise and the good they do, the actual Comic Relief programme is appalling. It either features has-beens who can't get on telly any other way, or non-comedians trying to be funny and failing. I don't want to watch TV Presenters perform sketches, because THEY CAN'T. Every year there may be one or two genuinely good items, but the rest is dross.

I don't miss it.

John Soanes said...

Agreed, it tries too much to be all things to all viewers, and that's almost impossible. But the money that's raised is always impressive - and interestingly, this year's total was the highest yet, despite the clouds of recession which hang overhead. Fair repairs (if not restores) one's faith in human nature, it does.
J

Stuart Peel said...

Oh no doubt, the idea is good, and the money raised fantastic. I just have to look away when they actually televise the thing, which is easier from 1000 miles away