I love Comic Relief. Every two years, I give them a load of cash and then sit down to be emotionally destroyed for the evening.
I don't really watch for the comedy which, aside from the occasional gem, is crap. What I love is the way that Comic Relief make everyone, including me, cry about things that really warrant crying about.
As a fundraiser, I also feel a little bit envious. Because Comic Relief don't mess about. The formula is simple. Find a brilliant story, make people cry, show the solution and then make people feel like heroes if they give. Five minutes. No holds barred.
The 'computer says no' school of what can and can't be said or shown is conspicuous by its absence. Want say a child with malaria is 'doomed'? Fine. Want to show a child having febrile convulsions? No problem. Want to show a child dying of Malaria? Get the parents' permission and knock yourself out.
And that's exactly what they did this year. And I'm glad they did. Because for all the tokenism, the enforced jollity and the inevitable appearance of Annie Lennox, Comic Relief rubs all our noses in the misery that is the mirror of our rich, comfortable lives. And I love them for it.