It was such a spur of the moment notion when Richard Curtis and a few of us got it going that it's hard to believe it has gone on to become so close to people's hearts. Back in 1985 Ethiopia was being torn apart by famine, and a gaggle of fresh faced comedians thought they might be able to raise a bob or two to help. Three decades and a billion pounds later though what's changed? For starters there's still a big perception that it's only Africa that benefits. The reality is very different. Since Comic Relief began, projects funded in the UK have touched the lives of more than 10million people.
We are so excited to be part of the BBC Three Comic Relief documentary, Stop Cutting Our Girls: A Comic Relief Special. We have been on a journey trying to publicise FGM. To go from learning about it amongst ourselves in a little room to talking about it on national TV is really exciting and we're all really proud of ourselves.
Scolastica, a 33-year-old single mother and urban chicken farmer in Tanzania, set up her poultry business in 2005, itself a brave step for a woman to make in such a patriarchal society. Things ticked along relatively well. But when three years ago, a virus swept through her flock and killed 600 of her 900 birds in less than a week - even someone with the drive and determination of Scolastica thought her dream was over. That's when Comic Relief stepped in and her luck began to change.
As a performer, I totally understand how powerful music and drama is to express yourself and get difficult emotions out into the open. Singer and dancer Mary is one such person. She puts heartfelt emotion into every single performance in an attempt to turn her painful past into a positive force. Her powerful lyrics and support from an incredible project have turned this once shy woman into a local celebrity in the rural part of eastern Uganda where she lives with her husband and children. I recently met Mary, 48, and heard her remarkable story...
There's something so genuine and heartwarming in sharing a laugh with a little boy or girl. People of all ages love to share their happiness. Laugh, and the whole world laughs with you. That is the power of Comic Relief and its inspiring Red Nose Day fundraising campaign. People throughout the UK will be making fun of themselves on Friday - me, too - to support extraordinary causes.