Comic Relief is a British charity organization that was founded in 1985 by the comedy scriptwriter Richard Curtis in response to famine in Ethiopia. It now raises money for countries in Africa and for disadvantaged people in the UK. It was launched live on Noel Edmonds's Late, Late Breakfast Show on BBC1, on Christmas Day 1985 from a refugee camp in Sudan. The idea for Comic Relief came from the noted charity worker Jane Tewson, then head of a British NGO Charity Projects and was inspired by the success of the first four Secret Policeman's Ball comedy benefit shows for Amnesty International (1976-1981). Initially funds were raised from live events, the most notable being a comedy revue at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London which was subsequently broadcast on television on 25 April 1986.
One of the fundamental principles behind working at Comic Relief is the 'Golden Pound Principle' where every single donated pound is spent on charitable projects. All operating costs, such as staff salaries, are covered by corporate sponsors or interest which is earned while money raised is waiting to be spent (granted) to charitable projects.
Currently, its two main supporters are the BBC and Sainsbury's. The BBC is responsible for the live television extravaganza on Red Nose Day and Sainsbury's sells merchandise on behalf of the charity