Jackie: Every year* in March, celebrities and the general public join together for Red Nose Day.
Richard: Yes, you'll see people wearing red noses, red noses on cars, red noses on shirts, the UK is awash with red noses. So for this week's podcastsinenglish.com we're talking about Red Nose Day and finding out what it's all about.
Jackie: Well, it all started with Comic Relief back in 1985.
Richard: Yes. Comic Relief er… is a major charity er… based in the UK and it was launched um… from a refugee camp in Sudan on Christmas Day in 1985 live on TV. Now at that time er… there was a devastating famine which was crippling Ethiopia and Comic Relief was set up to raise money for that.
Jackie: Yes, and the reason it’s called Comic Relief is because it's about getting British comedians to make the public laugh while they raise money to help people.
Richard: Yes. Now where does Red Nose Day come in?
Jackie: Well, Comic Relief is… is the charity, and that works 365 days every year. But every odd year, so this year 2011, there's a special day – Red Nose Day. It's a huge event on live TV which brings together comedy and charity. People watch the show and donate money. The first Red Nose Day in 1988 raised 15 million pounds.
Richard: Yes. And eleven more Red Nose Days have followed um… raising a total of 459 million pounds.
Jackie: So, where does the money go? Well it goes to support people and communities in the UK and in Africa.
Richard: So what's happening this year?
Jackie: Well, if you go onto the website um… there's loads of information. It's full of fundraising ideas and it tells you what celebrities have already been doing to make people laugh and make money. But there's lots of ideas about how the public… the general public can get involved as well.
Richard: Yes, my sister's getting involved. She's actually wearing a pair of pyjamas for the entire day so she's going to be wandering round the streets in pyjamas.
Jackie: And… and so how does that help, wearing pyjamas, Richard?
Richard: Well, she's going to be raising money for that. She's getting people to sponsor her.
Jackie: Mmm. But some people, they eat something funny or, you know, they make some special food which they sell or they do something funny with their hair or wear a red wig. There's lots of different things.
Richard: And of course everybody is buying red noses and t-shirts as we’ve said.
Jackie: Mmm. So, 2009 they raised more than 82 million pounds er… let's see whether 2011, they do any better.
*Oops - this should be ‘every other year’