RTÉ Does Comic Relief: Normal People stars sign up for charity fundraiser

Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones to appear with Deirdre O’Kane and Dara Ó Briain on June 26th

RTÉ is to host an Irish version of the BBC's Comic Relief charity fundraiser later this month.

Deirdre O’Kane, Nicky Byrne, Jennifer Zamparelli and Eoghan McDermott will present the live show in aid of Irish charities that have been struggling to raise money during the coronavirus pandemic.

The performers and contributors to RTÉ Does Comic Relief, which begins at 8pm on Friday, June 26th, include The Normal People stars Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones; Dara Ó Briain, Amy Huberman, Chris O'Dowd, Jason Byrne, Andrew Scott, Aisling Bea, John Bishop, the Derry Girls, Andrew Maxwell, Ed Byrne, Jimmy Carr, Adam Hills, Risteárd Cooper, Neil Delamere, Brian O'Driscoll, Paul Howard, Dustin, Zig and Zag, and Dawn O'Porter.

“After three years of fantastic live fundraising events, it’s so exciting to be bringing this to TV for the first time in Ireland with RTÉ,” says O’Kane, who spearheaded Comic Relief’s previous presence in Ireland through the Paddy’s Night in Support of Comic Relief shows at 3Arena in Dublin. “It’s going to be a memory-making night that’ll raise serious funds to help people who need it most as a result of Covid-19.”

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Richard Curtis, the British comedy writer and film director who was one of Comic Relief's founders, in 1985, and has helped the organisation raise more than €1 billion for charity since then, says: "I'm delighted to see so much amazing Irish talent come together to raise funds at this hugely difficult time for so many incredibly important Irish charities... Here's hoping the night is the massive success it deserves to be."

RTÉ and Comic Relief's charity partner for the Irish event is the Community Foundation for Ireland, which will distribute the funds raised; it works with more than 4,000 nonprofit organisations around the country. Its chief executive, Tina Roche, says: "RTÉ Does Comic Relief is providing a platform for everyone to be a philanthropist and play our part in rebuilding our society, ensuring no one is left behind."