In a video message for Comic Relief, which is broadcast throughout Firday night, Prince William praised Brits for helping raise £74 million for Comic Relief last year.
Comic Relief was part behind a special fundraiser in April 2020, called The Big Night In. Funds were split between Comic Relief, BBC Children in Need and the National Emergencies Trust, which he supports as patron.
The duke will say in his video message: “Your incredible generosity raised over £74 million for so many brilliant charities, including the National Emergencies Trust, at a time when Covid was first really taking its toll.
“Thank you all so much.”
William’s message will introduce a powerful film that highlights the huge increase in the number of people experiencing mental health issues over the past year and the support being provided by organisations funded by Comic Relief
William starred in a Blackadder sketch with Stephen Fry during the Big Night In and joked about home schooling his children.
Comic Relief’s Night of TV started at 7pm on BBC One.
Dawn French kicked off proceedings by singing Lizzo song Juice as her character Geraldine from The Vicar Of Dibley.
Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen and Jodie Whittaker then featured in a sketch for the programme.
The stars featured in a joke trailer for the film 2020 The Movie – about the events of the past 12 months.
Matt Lucas, Gary Barlow, Sanjeev Bhaskar and KSI also appeared in the sketch.
Later, double amputee racing driver Billy Monger was revelaed to have raised £2,376,183 for Comic Relief.
Monger, who previously completed a 140-mile triathlon-inspired challenge for the charity, was told the fundraising total by the presenters.
He said he was “speechless”, adding: “That’s completely out of what I thought was possible, so thank you everyone.”
Then, Justin Bieber gave an exclusive performance of his song Hold On for the programme.
Already by 8pm, over £25 million had been raised.