Friday, March 12, 1999 Published at 11:32 GMT
Red Nose Day squeaks into life
A Ginger production: Chris Evans and Geri Halliwell
A host of celebrities are taking part in Friday's Red Nose Day - with Comic Relief organisers hoping this year's appeal will be the their biggest yet.
Meanwhile, BBC Radio 1 DJ Simon Mayo set the ball rolling with a 37-hour microphone marathon to break the record for the world's longest radio show. He started at 0900 on Thursday, and did not stop until 2200 on Friday.
The last Red Nose Day, in 1997, raised more than £27m, for the vulnerable and disadvantaged in Africa and the UK. This year's theme is record-breaking - and the team aim to break a record every 45 minutes during the TV broadcast.
Over four million of the charity's squeaking red noses have already been sold at shops across the UK.
Record-breaking TV show
Other events bought together Hollywood stars and British celebrities, as well as personalities from the BBC and its commercial competitors.
They included a one-off episode of The Vicar of Dibley starring Johnny Depp and the Duchess of York, Victoria Wood starred in a spoof Hetty Wainthrop Investigates special with stars from ITV's Coronation Street. A Doctor Who special was also unveiled - featuring Blackadder star Rowan Atkinson as the legendary time-traveller.
TFI on the BBC
Men Behaving Badly returned for a 10-minute special, while Have I Got Buzzcocks All Over sees host Angus Deayton referee Phill Jupitus, Jo Brand and Meatloaf taking on Nick Hancock, Phil Tufnell and ITN newscaster Carol Barnes in a special news, sport and music quiz.
Other celebrities to appear included Elton John, David Bowie, Woody Allen, Matt Damon, John Cleese, Whitney Houston and U2 singer Bono.
"When I got there I just started crying. The way these women welcomed me was just fantastic," she recalled.
"They knew I was from the West to help them with this project where they educate women to read and write. We might take it for granted, but 50% of people in Uganda cannot read and write, and most of those are women. It was fantastic how it changed their lives. "
Strict rules on record attempt
His record attempt was strictly monitored, according a spokeswoman for the station.
"There has to be two witnesses in the studio at all times, and the whole show has to be videoed and sent back to the Guinness Book of Records for checking," she said.
Each record played has to be no less than two minutes long, and no more than six minutes long, while there are conditions laid down as to the amount of news and other items that can be introduced.
The event was supported by record companies, who donated £100 for each hour to Comic Relief to have their songs played by Mayo.
Mayo could also be watched during his stint via a camera on the Radio 1 Website.
Red Nose Day 1999: The Record Breaker runs from 1900 to 0100 on BBC One on Friday.
TV and Radio