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Media captionPeter Kay’s corona appropriate music video update

The stars of Doctor Who, The Vicar of Dibley and Miranda sent messages of hope and support on BBC One charity special The Big Night In, which has raised nearly £27.4m.

The three-hour show saw Children in Need and Comic Relief join forces for the first time, with the government promising to double the total raised.

Peter Kay, Catherine Tate and the Little Britain duo also took part along with the EastEnders cast, while the Duke of Cambridge did a surprise sketch with Stephen Fry.

The money will go to causes that support vulnerable people around the UK whose lives have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Simon Antrobus, the chief executive of BBC Children in Need, thanked the public for their donations, and said people across the UK had “come together in a beautiful way”.

The fundraising show was watched by an average of 6.7 million viewers, the BBC said, with a peak audience of 8.5 million.

Ruth Davison, Comic Relief’s chief executive, echoed his thanks and said the funding would “help projects around the country that are doing vital work to support vulnerable, isolated people throughout the pandemic”.

11 highlights from The Big Night In:

1. The return of Little Britain

Matt Lucas and David Walliams brought their iconic show back to screens for the first time in a decade, taking a whistle-stop trip to visit their classic characters in lockdown.

First up were Lou and Andy, who had his mind set on eating bat for his tea.

Lucas and Walliams had to improvise with home-made costumes and wigs – using the cardboard from toilet rolls for Emily and Florence’s curly hair and a brush to give Dafydd a Mohican.

2. Doctor Who actors assemble (virtually)

Ten stars who have played the lead role in Doctor Who over the past 50 years recorded a message of thanks for real doctors and health workers.

“Tonight, we have all come together for one important reason,” said the actors, who ranged from Tom Baker to Jodie Whittaker.

“To praise, salute and give heartfelt thanks to real-life, special doctors, nurses and everyone working on the front lines in our NHS and care homes and hospices.”

3. Prince William on Tiger King

The Duke of Cambridge took part in a spoof Zoom call with Stephen Fry, who was playing Lord Melchett – a descendent of his character in sitcom Blackadder.

The prince complained that royal home schooling was “a bit of a nightmare”, and asked: “Have you seen anything good on TV? It’s hell without EastEnders.”

When Melchett suggested Netflix phenomenon Tiger King, William replied: “I avoid shows about royalty.”

4. The Vicar of Dibley’s sermon

Dawn French revived The Vicar of Dibley to deliver a message to viewers. “Life goes on, and this will pass,” she said. “It’s right, really, that we shouldn’t dwell too much on the sadness, but try and think about all the happiness.”

She added: “Please be safe. Be kind. Eat chocolate. Praise the Lord. And praise the NHS.”

5. Miranda: ‘Love wins’

Miranda Hart performed a virtual sketch with her sitcom co-stars before reflecting on the current “strange time”.

Wearing a T-shirt bearing the words “Love wins”, she said: “Much like your nan’s Christmas cake, there are going to be tough moments and parts that are hard to swallow. But we’ll get through it.

“Remember, it’s OK if you’re struggling. It’s OK if you’re bored. It’s OK if you’re OK. It’s OK if you’re not OK. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and, remember love wins.”

6. Catherine Tate’s still not bovvered

Tate brought back surly schoolgirl Lauren for a virtual home learning session with her teacher, played by David Tennant.

After running rings around him in an argument about coronavirus – with lines like “Are you Chris Whitty though?” (referring to the UK chief medical officer) and “Is my face mask bovvered?” – she persuaded him to take part in a Tik Tok duet of I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me).

7. Peter Kay goes back to Amarillo

Fifteen years after getting to number one with (Is This The Way To) Amarillo for Comic Relief, Kay made a rare TV appearance to unveil a new version of the video, now featuring key workers and members of the public doing the famous march.

He was also praised on social media for telling viewers there was no pressure to donate. “Listen, if you can help tonight, there’s a number on screen,” he said. “If you can’t, then don’t worry about it. You’ve got enough going on.”

8. Joe Sugg’s hairdressing fail

The YouTuber attempted to give his girlfriend and former Strictly Come Dancing partner Dianne Buswell a live lockdown haircut.

When it was revealed, host Davina McCall cried: “Oh no! It’s completely lopsided!” Sir Lenny Henry consoled her with the words: “It’s bad… You look like Billie Eilish’s gran.”

9. Paloma Faith’s ironing board cover

The show included the premiere of the video for the official charity single – a cover of Foo Fighters’ track Times Like These, recorded by stars like Dua Lipa, Chris Martin, Ellie Goulding, Jess Glynne, Paloma Faith, Mabel and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man.

The musicians recorded their parts in quarantine – and the video gives an insight into their lockdown lives, with Brit Award winner Mabel appearing with her dog and Paloma Faith singing next to her ironing board.

They were joined on the track by Foos frontman Dave Grohl, who told the programme: “I came in last minute after they were almost all finished, and it is amazing.”

10. EastEnders Zoom quiz

They may not be filming regular episodes at the moment, but the cast of EastEnders got together for a comedy Zoom quiz, hosted by Ian Beale.

But it was Zoom-bombed by Liz McDonald from rival soap Coronation Street, leading the Queen Vic’s landlady Linda Carter to utter the words: “Get out of my virtual pub, you’re barred!”

11. Jason Manford’s bookshelves

The comedian didn’t have the obligatory backdrop for his video, so instead stuck hand-written signs saying “bookshelves” behind him on his wall.

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