Red Nose Day 2017 is finally here. The fundraiser that is the public face of 'Comic Relief' is held every two years in tandem with 'Sport Relief' and will be filmed live at The O2 Arena, London tonight from 7 pm.

From the beginning

Comic Relief first appeared on our screens as a fundraiser in 1988 hosted by Lenny Henry and supported by a number of comedians and pop stars. It was watched by 30 million on TV and raised £15 million. From those humble beginnings, Comic Relief has grown into a national institution raising in excess of £1 billion in its' 30 or so years not to mention a knighthood for its' senior presenter Sir Lenny Henry.

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What happens to the money?

Since its' inception, the team at 'Comic Relief' have been involved in raising money to eradicate poverty in the UK and in Africa. One of its' most notable cases saw land seized by apartheid in South Africa returned to the people in Elandskloof, South Africa in a landmark legal case.

For the most part, the money is used to improve the lives of people in the poorest parts of Africa and support disabled people in the UK return to work and highlight abuse of the elderly.

What can we expect this year?

This year there will be appearances from comedians French and Saunders, Reeves, and Mortimer and Catherine Tate. James Corden will be hosting a special version of his Car Pool Karaoke with 'Take That.' Later in the evening, Russell Brand will host an hour of the best of British stand-up comedians.

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For those who may have forgotten Ed Balls efforts on Strictly Come Dancing there will be the chance to catch his unforgettable version of 'Gangnam Style' as they recreate the opening to 'La La Land'.

Love Actually, the sequel.

By far the biggest talking point of this year's show is the specially written sequel to the 2003 film '#Love Actually'. Richard Curtis, the film's original writer has written a special sketch which will show us where the much-loved characters from the film could be today. All the original cast will be reprising their roles with the sad exception of Alan Rickman who died last year and his screen wife Emma Thompson who decided she couldn't appear without her on- screen husband.

Supporting the show

As with every year, the merchandise is in the form of a comic red nose which can be purchased from Sainsbury's, Oxfam or online on the Comic Relief website. Viewers are also able to take part in their own fund raising activities knowing that the money raised will be going to the causes supported by the charity.