The Big Night In: What To Look Out For During The One-Off BBC Event

Peter Kay, Catherine Tate and a special Live Lounge performance are all among the highlights of the evening.

The BBC’s Big Night In event is almost here and if it all goes to plan, we could be in for a night of brilliant entertainment from some of the UK’s best loved TV stars and comedians.

Kicking off at 7pm on Thursday (no, we’re not sure why they’re doing it on a Thursday either, but never mind), the one-off broadcast marks the first time charities Children In Need and Comic Relief have teamed up, and will feature live music, comedy sketches and a few surprises too.

Billed as a way of celebrating the UK’s “resilience” while we’re all on lockdown, there will also be an opportunity for viewers to donate money to help those “of all ages and backgrounds across the UK” who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s what to look out for over the course of the evening...

Some reliable favourites on presenting duties

Over the course of the three-hour event, Comic Relief favourites Sir Lenny Henry, Davina McCall, Matt Baker, Paddy McGuinness and Zoe Ball, will all be on presenting duties.

Like the recent Together At Home concert, they’ll be hosting from two different studios, with Sir Lenny, Davina and Matt in one and Zoe and Paddy in another. Of course, they’ll also be adhering to social distancing guidelines and remaining two metres away from one another.

A mass Live Lounge performance

Dua Lipa performing on The Tonight Show last year
Dua Lipa performing on The Tonight Show last year
NBC via Getty Images

Some of the biggest names in music have teamed up for an almighty cover of the Foo Fighters’ Times Like This, in a very special edition of the Radio 1 Live Lounge. Expect figures from across different genres to appear during the performance, including Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, chart-topping singer Dua Lipa and dancehall star Sean Paul.

Each artist recorded their portion of the song from home, with British producer Fraser T Smith – whose past credits include Adele, Sam Smith and Stormzy – helping make the song sound as seamless as possible.

And a few more musical guests

Gary Barlow
Gary Barlow
Isabel Infantes - PA Images via Getty Images

Gary Barlow will also be putting together a performance with a few famous friends, including Leona Lewis, Katherine Jenkins, Gregory Porter and Liam Payne.

Ian Beale’s Queen Vic pub quiz

Adam Woodyatt as Ian Beale
Adam Woodyatt as Ian Beale
BBC

Putting our Zoom efforts to shame, Adam Woodyatt will be hosting a pub quiz with a difference during the event, in character as Ian Beale in the Queen Vic.

The stars of Strictly Come Dancing get the nation on their feet

In the last week, the BBC launched the Keep Dancing challenge, which has seen the Strictly Come Dancing professionals teaching fans a small portion of a dance routine each day. Viewers who have recorded themselves performing the complete dance will be shown during the Big Night In, so we can all get a taste of what it’s like to be taught by the Strictly pros (and how easy it is to pick up their choreo!).

A Doctor Who event like no other

In what’s been billed as a salute to the NHS workers on the frontline, Doctor Who stars past and present will team up for a video message that’s sure to be a stand-out moment of the broadcast.

Already confirmed to be appearing include former Doctors David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy and Jo Martin, who appeared as a new incarnation of the Doctor earlier this year.

Oh, and Jodie Whittaker, obv, who already did a brilliant job with her message of hope for Doctor Who fans last month (as seen above).

Catherine Tate brings back her classic teenager character

Catherine Tate
Catherine Tate
BBC

Famed for her catchphrase “am I bovvered?”, Bafta-nominated comic Catherine Tate will reprise one of her most iconic characters, Lauren The Teenager, for a new sketch filmed at her home.

Little is known about the scene, other than the fact it will see Lauren struggling with her home education while schools are on lockdown, and it will also reunite her with her old teacher, played by David Tennant.

Not to mention one more holy reunion

Yes, it’s been five years since we last saw Dawn French in the dog collar, but she’s set to don it once again as part of the Big Night In celebrations, as she reprises her most famous character, Geraldine Granger from the Vicar Of Dibley.

And these two will be back in action...

Matt Lucas and David Walliams
Matt Lucas and David Walliams
Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

Yes, following the success of their Little Brexit radio play last year, David Walliams and Matt Lucas are teaming up for their first TV venture since Come Fly With Me came to an end in 2011.

Again, the pair’s plans are being kept fairly under wraps, although we can think of a few characters they probably won’t be bringing back in 2020. We can probably count on a spontaneous rendition of Thank You Baked Potato too.

An almighty reprise of (Is This The Way To) Amarillo?

Peter Kay
Peter Kay
BBC

It’s been 15 years since Tony Christie last topped the charts with (Is This The Way To) Amarillo, with a helping hand from Peter Kay and that music video, which first debuted on Comic Relief.

Rather than celebrities, it sounds like Peter will this time be joined by members of the public for a recreation of the clip.

Of course, a short interlude at 8pm

An hour into the broadcast, the BBC will pause the proceedings so the public can go outside and take part in the Clap For Carers demonstration, showing their appreciation and support for those frontline workers who are helping out in the pandemic.

The Big Night In airs tonight on BBC One at 7pm.