The Big Night In: Catch up with the best bits
James R | On 26, Apr 2020
Thursday night saw Children in Need and Comic Relief team up for The Big Night In, the Beeb’s answer to last weekend’s One World Together – a chance to get together and keep the public entertaining during lockdown, thank the frontline workers putting their lives on the line to help others and, of course, raise some money for the two charities, who are then passing the money on to services helping support people in need during the pandemic.
At three hours long, it’s understandable that many may not have wanted to tune in for a whole evening’s telethon – especially given the typically uneven nature of these broadcasts over the years. But The Big Night In was more hit than miss, with celebrities and comedians clearly up for a laugh. Don’t have the time to catch up with the whole thing on BBC iPlayer? We’ve rounded up the best bits to stream on YouTube:
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On a star-studded night, this was the showstopper: 10 previous Doctor Who stars all uniting to say thank you to the real doctors working tirelessly every day across the country. When else do you get a chance to see Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, Jodie Whittaker and Jo Martin all joining together?
Tate and Tennant
Catherine Tate brings back her “Am I bovvered” student for a genuinely hilarious sketch that sees her homeschooled by a teacher played by David Tennant. The pair are familiar with each other – after Doctor Who, they’ve also starred together in Much Ado About Nothing – and their chemistry still fizzes, even when they’re bantering over the web.
Matt Lucas’ Baked Potato song has come a long way from its Shooting Stars days, with a whole orchestra uniting remotely to accompany his latest rendition of the viral ditty turned chart hit. As cheerful and lovely as you’ve expect.
Coogan and Brydon
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon do a great job of reviving their personas from The Trip – and, you suspect, real life – as they do their bit for charity, while debating how to get famous from doing so. A series just comprising them video-calling each other? We wouldn’t say no.
People Just Do… Nothing
The stars of Kurupt FM get back together to, well, do nothing and Chabuddy G’s lockdown haircut sends shockwaves through the group. With no more seasons on the way – although a movie’s in the works – don’t miss the chance to relish just how brilliant these actors are at inhabiting their hilariously realistic characters.
Vicar of Dibley
It’s a been a much longer wait to see Dawn French’s vicar back on our screen and, even without the other cast members of the sitcom joining in (one for a tragic, obvious reason), the wait is worth it, as French smartly opts for a video parish update. The jokes are faintly predictable, but in a comforting way, and French clearly enjoys the chance to don her cassock once more.
Romesh Ranganathan continues his quest to be on every screen imaginable with this short dispatch from his family life in lockdown – a mockumentary that reminds us of the universal struggles we’re all facing during this strange time of quarantine, and of just how naturally funny he is. That said, his kids almost steal the show.
Times Like These
Dave Grohl, Duo Lipa, Chris Martin, Celeste, Sean Paul and more all team up for this gorgeous cover of Times Like These that doesn’t fail to tug at your heartstrings, even as your toes are tapping.
Matt Lucas and David Walliams even admit themselves during this reunion that Little Britain’s jokes and skits are awkwardly outdated in modern society, but they put on a good show of bringing back some familiar characters from their sketch show – and, if the material isn’t exactly politically correct, they balance that out with their amusingly slapdash approach to production, costume and make-up – and some neat in-camera tricks.
Peter Kay brings doctors, nurses and the general public together for another rendition of (Is This The Way to) Amarillo, and it’s testament to his genial charm that the song, even on the umpteenth time of hearing it, still raises a smile.
Miranda’s Top Tips
The cast of Miranda Hart’s sitcom reunite for a video that’s not groundbreakingly original but certainly provides feel-good reassurance that it’s OK not to be OK right now.
Stephen Fry meets Prince William
Why is Stephen Fry playing Lord Melchett from Blackadder? Goodness knows, but his skit that sees him chat via Zoom with Prince William proves Will is more than up for a joke – at one point claiming he’s wearing no trousers – and, for any gaps in the giggles, does a heartwarming job of introducing the Thursday night applause for the NHS.