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Category: Sport Relief

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Gary Barlow’s 2014 England World Cup song: a nadir

The official England World Cup song, unveiled on Sport Relief, was a giant shrug of ‘Will this do?’Michael Hann

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Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan reunite for Sport Relief

Fund-raising charity marathon hosted live from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London

Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan reunited live on British television for the first time in 25 years as more than £45m was raised for the BBC’s Sport Relief.

The Australian pair performed a duet of their 1988 hit Especially For You during the charity marathon on BBC One.

A fundraising grand total of £51,242,186 was announced at the end of the broadcast, beating the record £50.4m raised during the last Sport Relief show two years ago.

The charity marathon was hosted live from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London by presenters Gary Lineker and David Walliams. A host of stars featured in sketches to get the nation active and persuade them to donate to good causes that help thousands of people in the UK and across the world.

Highlights included David Beckham starring in the first new episode of Only Fools And Horses for over 11 years. The show also included the first airing of the England football team’s World Cup song, a cover version of Take That’s Greatest Day.

Gary Barlow and former England captain Lineker led a 20-strong group including pop stars Katy B, former Spice Girl Emma Bunton, Pixie Lott and Conor Maynard.

Footballers Peter Shilton, Michael Owen, Glenn Hoddle, Dion Dublin and Sir Geoff Hurst also took part.

All proceeds from the sale of the record will go to Sport Relief.

An Olympic-themed show also featured gold medallist Lord Coe taking part in a Clash of the Titans battle against comedian John Bishop at the London velodrome.

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Bradley Wiggins in The Archers Sport Relief special – review

The cycling legend played more than just a cameo role as himself – and put in a medal-winning performance

Already the possessor of four Olympic gold medals, a Tour de France title and a knighthood, Bradley Wiggins has now added to his saddlebag a “selfie” with Lynda Snell and mud on his suit from a scuffle between two other fictional residents of the Borsetshire village of Ambridge.

In tonight’s special episode of The Archers – for the Sport Relief appeal – the cyclist became the latest celebrity to make a cameo in the BBC Radio 4 soap. More than a dozen well-known names have guest-starred as themselves over the years (Dame Judi Dench also played a minor character in 1989), with Princess Margaret, the Duchess of Cornwall and Sir Terry Wogan among the most memorable performers.

The fact that Dench chose to play someone else possibly reflects a canny understanding that appearing as yourself – being the fact in a fiction – is one of the toughest acting tasks. It is even harder on radio, with performers standing at microphones pretending to be on bikes while somebody else does the wheel sound effects. The royal cameo guests delivered their lines particularly stiffly, even though they had been entrusted with minimal script.

Wiggins’s role, however, was substantial. He had 27 lines of dialogue and although these included the occasional “Yeah”, he was also given a philosophical speech after Ian Craig and Rob Titchener embarked upon a fistfight at the finishing line of the Ambridge Rough and Tumble 2014. “Competition brings out the worst in people, as well as the best,” Wiggins concluded.

The Olympian was so central to the storyline that his episode most resembled a rural radio version of Ken Loach’s movie Looking for Eric, in which the former footballer, Eric Cantona, suddenly appears in the bedroom of a postman who is a fan.

In Listening for Wiggo, the equivalent of the postie was Lynda Snell, the dame who runs the Ambridge pantomime each year, and who received the Smooth and Steady prize (a gentler contest for Ambridgians too old to risk the Rough and Tumble), from the special guest. Putting on her special posh voice, Lynda tried to engage Wiggins in a discussion about fixed gears.

Real-life cameos in drama can easily become a bike crash, as the royal appearances showed. But this one worked because Wiggo is an experienced media performer and the writer (Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti) came up with the sort of stuff Wiggins might actually say (“This looks a bit tasty” and “My money’s on the big fella”, when Ian and Rob locked handlebars). It wasn’t quite radio gold, but Wiggo delivered silver at least.

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James Corden lands three exclusive interviews as the Sun’s guest editor

Comedian interviewed David Cameron and put topless men on Page 3 as he guest edited the newspaper for Sport Relief

The Sun was edited today by James Corden and landed three exclusive interviews. The first, which was splashed across page 1, was “an eye-opening interview” with prime minister David Cameron.

Political editor Tom Newton-Dunn describes the “high octane exchange” as “the toughest verbal grilling” Cameron has “ever had in No10.”

Among the “revelations” is Cameron’s belief that England was “lied to” over the 2018 world cup bid (which went to Russia) and that he wants London mayor Boris Johnson “back in parliament.” And that’s about it.

It was noticeable that Corden refused to run the usual picture of a topless woman on Page 3. He chose instead to carry a picture of himself and 11 male Sun staff in shorts. The caption said:

“There’s been a woman with her top off on Page 3 as long as I remember. I thought it was time the male workforce of The Sun gave a little back.

So here they are: The hottest hunks working on The Sun. You’re welcome, ladies.”

Corden also managed to get an interview with Tom Daley, the Olympic diving medallist, “speaking for the first time since coming out as gay.” And there was a third interview – with Real Madrid’s star turn, Gareth Bale. Corden also turned up in the Bizarre gossip column.

Corden’s guest editorship is part of this year’s Sport Relief fund-raising. According to the Sun’s leader, “the charity will get a penny from every sale of today’s paper”.

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A brief history of singing footballers

Gallery: With England legends behind the mic for Sport Relief, here are some other singing playersSteven Bloor

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Bradley Wiggins to guest star on The Archers for Sport Relief

The Tour-winning cyclist and knight of the realm will turn up in Ambridge playing himself, as part of the 2014 Sport Relief celebrations

Ambridge, the sleepy, definitively English fictional village in Radio 4 soap The Archers, will welcome a very special visitor next Friday: Sir Bradley Wiggins, the laconic Tour De France-winning cyclist and Olympic champion.

Rather than take on the mutton-chopped farmer role he was born to play, he’ll appear as himself, as Ambridge gets into the swing of Sport Relief and organises its own charity fundraising venture. Wiggins is the guest of honour, crowning the winner of a village contest, but will apparently get into some comic scrapes involving Lynda Snell’s rusty bike.

“When I was asked to record a Sport Relief special for The Archers, there was no way I could turn it down,” Wiggins said in a statement. “I grew up with it on the radio in the house, and it’s not every day you get to star in the world’s longest running soap opera. Meeting the cast, the writer and the director was an honour and I really hope the storyline will raise awareness about Sport Relief’s amazing work, and that it shows people that everyone can get involved in Sport Relief this year.”

Wiggins is in good company, as many other celebrities have previously pitched in among the sounds of crunching gravel, sometimes also in the name of charity. Princess Margaret appeared on the show in 1984, joining an NSPCC fashion show, while Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall joined a 2011 Royal visit storyline – prompting some complaints of “forelock-tugging” from fans, especially given Prince Charles’s Duchy Originals shortbread was also given a hearty recommendation by one character.

Superfan John Peel had a moment of wish fulfillment when he made a cameo in 1991, as did fellow Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles in 2004, while Judi Dench made a memorable appearance for the 10,000th episode in 1989, playing not herself but the hitherto silent character Pru Forrest.

The episode will air at 7pm on Friday 21 March on Radio 4, with the Sport Relief Games beginning the following weekend.

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