French was joined on screen at the start of the fundraiser by Gogglebox star Kate Bottley, dancing around the old living room of sitcom favourite Geraldine Granger, in a sketch that proved popular with many on social media.
Several described the skit as ‘hilarious’, with one viewer adding: ‘Well this has made my Friday!’
The fundraising total currently stands at more than £45 million after appearances from Justin Bieber, Daniel Craig and the Duke of Cambridge.
The charity event aired on BBC One on Friday night and was hosted by actor David Tennant, comedians Sir Lenny Henry and Paddy McGuinness, singer Alesha Dixon and television presenter Davina McCall.
Bieber gave an exclusive performance of his song Hold On during the show.
Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen and Jodie Whittaker starred in a joke film trailer for 2020 The Movie during the programme.
Dixon said at the end of the programme: ‘You have made an incredible difference to the lives of people here in the UK and across the world.
‘Your generosity tonight will create lasting change for those who need our support now more than ever.’
Sir Lenny added: ‘After a year of lockdowns, we hope we have given you laughter and joy.’
The programme opened with Dawn French singing Lizzo song Juice as her character from The Vicar Of Dibley
French was joined on screen at the start of the fundraiser by Gogglebox star Kate Bottley, dancing around the old living room of sitcom favourite Geraldine Granger, in a sketch that proved popular with many on social media
Prince William has recorded a special message for Comic Relief to thank the Great British public for their generosity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic
Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris, the hosts of Top Gear, appeared on Comic Relief together this evening
Comedian Russell Brand starred as fitness guru Joe Wicks in a joke trailer for the film 2020 The Movie on the programme
Keira Knightley (pictured), Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen and Jodie Whittaker also featured in a sketch for the programme
Double amputee racing driver Billy Monger raised £2,376,183 for Comic Relief, adding that he was ‘speechless’ by the total
The fundraiser was hosted by TV presenters Davina McCall (pictured) and Paddy McGuinness, comedian Sir Lenny Henry and singer Alesha Dixon
The fundraising total for Comic Relief will be updated again at a later stage once all the donations have been counted.
The Duke of Cambridge made an appearance in the programme to thank viewers for their ‘compassion and generosity’ in raising millions for good causes during last year’s Big Night In television fundraiser, which generated funds for Comic Relief.
Daniel Craig also featured in the programme as James Bond alongside Catherine Tate’s foul-mouthed character Nan in a sketch for the programme.
Another comedy clip saw Paul Mescal, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Andrew Scott perform a sketch based on a crossover of the hit BBC shows Fleabag and Normal People.
The scene featured Scott’s Fleabag character Hot Priest doing confession with Normal People’s Conall and Marion simultaneously as they discussed their relationship problems.
Comedians Andi Osho, Alex Brooker, Jennifer Saunders, Jayde Adams and Caroline Quentin performed Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s opera Turandot.
They were challenged to learn and perform the song and were coached by the English National Opera and soprano Charlotte Church.
During the programme, comedian and children’s author David Walliams joined Sir Lenny to meet schoolchildren, who were discussing the recyclable red nose being sold for Red Nose Day.
Actress Olivia Colman, actors James Corden and Idris Elba, comedian Matt Lucas and singer Gary Barlow were among the other stars to feature in the fundraiser.
Elsewhere, Paul Mescal, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Andrew Scott featured in a sketch based on a crossover of the hit BBC shows Fleabag and Normal People.
The clip featured Scott’s Fleabag character Hot Priest doing confession with Normal People’s Conall and Marion simultaneously as they discussed their relationship problems.
It was also revealed during the programme that double amputee racing driver Billy Monger raised £2,376,183 for Comic Relief.
Monger, who previously completed a 140-mile triathlon-inspired challenge for the charity, was told the fundraising total by the presenters.
He said he was ‘speechless’, adding: ‘That’s completely out of what I thought was possible, so thank you everyone.’
Meanwhile, Prince William’s message introduced a powerful film that highlights the huge increase in the number of people experiencing mental health issues over the past year and the support being provided by organisations funded by Comic Relief.
As part of their emergency response, Comic Relief helped deliver a special one-off fundraising campaign in April 2020, the Big Night In, which raised more than £74 million for UK charities and was split between Comic Relief, BBC Children in Need and the National Emergencies Trust.
The BBC ‘s night of comedy is being hosted by TV presenters Davina McCall and Paddy McGuinness, comedian Sir Lenny Henry (pictured) and singer Alesha Dixon
Music superstar Justin Bieber also gave an exclusive performance of his song Hold On during the programme
Comedian Jack Whitehall also hosted a Comic Relief Zoom call with Idris Elba, Olivia Colman and Emma Thompson
Paul Mescal, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Andrew Scott featured in a sketch based on a crossover of the hit BBC shows Fleabag and Normal People
During The Big Night In, which aired last April, Prince William appeared in a hilarious Blackadder sketch with Stephen Fry, who reprised his iconic role as Lord Melchett.
Melchett paced around his office impatiently waiting for the Duke to call in, quipping: ‘I thought Germans were meant to be punctual’.
Apologising, William said Zoom was ‘complicated stuff’, later revealing homeschooling Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte was proving a ‘bit of a nightmare’ in lockdown.
The Duke said he was struggling to cope with not being able to watch EastEnders, but refused the Blackadder star’s recommendation of trying Netflix sensation Tiger King instead, adding: ‘I tend to avoid shows about royalty.’
As their virtual exchange drew to a close, Melchett reminded William to go out and clap for the NHS at 8pm, before William joked about not wearing any trousers.
The show then cut to the Cambridges clapping on their doorstep in Norfolk as part of the weekly show of gratitude for health and social care workers.