Has it been two years already?! Since it began in 1988, aside from the first year, Comic Relief has brought us Red Nose Day every two years. This UK tradition sees the population adorn themselves with a false red nose in support of the charity and thousands of people taking part in fun and crazy activities to raise money for the cause. Comic relief drives home a serious message but allows us to have fun whilst doing so, with many incredibly entertaining and funny television shows broadcast in between serious factual segments to demonstrate just how important the donations received are. The red nose is an iconic symbol known to pretty much everyone across the UK, but how many different styles have you worn?
The first red nose released had a simple design and was made from simple smooth plastic. These noses along with those produced in the following years were not the most comfy to wear.
The nose released in 1989 featured a smiley face that had been relief moulded into the nose. Again, this was an uncomfortable wear.
1991 gave us appendages for our noses as well as the smiling face.
1993 saw the “invasion of the comic tomatoes” and a whopping 72% of the UK taking part.
The nose of 1995 was heat sensitive, changing from comic relief red to either pink or yellow
A fluffy red nose followed in 1997. The red fur was shaggy and attached to a clear plastic nose. Still a little uncomfortable to wear but it kept your nose warm!
1997 was the first time a red nose was sold with an accessory, in this case it was a Chupa Chup “Tongue Painter” lollipop.
Comic Relief’s red nose of 1999 was more of an audible sensory experience, this nose featured a gold glitter finish, but also hooted when its internal squeaker was squeezed. The soft material was the beginning of a much comfier nose accessory.
Borrowing inspiration from the previous red nose, the 2001 version featured a cartoon face with an unfurling tongue that blew a raspberry when squeezed. This nose was designed by Aardman Animations, who are known for their incredibly popular “Wallace and Grommit” and “Shaun the Sheep”.
Another creation came from Aardman Animations in 2003, but this time the cartoon face had matching red hair and also featured eyeballs that would bulge out when squeezed. In theme with the hair, the tag line for 2003’s campaign was “the big hair do”.
2005 took red nose to “big hair and beyond”! The material lost a bit of its comfort, but the crazy coloured hair provided by Hasbro made up for it. It was also the year for the catchy bestselling download single of the year “Amarillo” by Peter Kay and Tony Christie. I’d happily place a bet that you have that song in your head now or at least sang the line “this is the way to Amarillo”, like we said, catchy.
2007 was all about comfort and SIZE! “The Big One” was a simple soft foam nose coloured Comic Relief red that grew in size. The nose that grows would expand as it was unpacked and rolled in the wearers hands.
The mould was broken in 2009 as three different red nose designs were released. This one, That one and The other one (the official names). All featuring faces with excitable expressions and were made from moulded polyurethane foam, mmmmm nose comfort.
Featuring another three designs available to purchase and collect, 2011 brought forth some slightly creepy designs, although still fun with much stronger characters and engagement factor than previous faceless designs. This was also the year that the charity broke the £100 million mark thanks to donations from the UK public.
2013 was the third campaign in a row in which the tag line “Do Something Funny For Money” was used. Another three red nose designs were up for grabs, featuring monster/dinosaur creations.
2015 got us to “Face the funny” and was also the arrival of 9 new designs to wear and collect, with a golden version available but only in a limited amount.
And so here we are, present day 2017. Another 10 new fun designs are available to the public, with another limited edition nose to find. The noses by name are; Nose-it-all the all-knowing owl, the Viking Norse Nose, Snootankhamun from ancient Sneezegypt, Snuffles the dragon, DJ Boogie, Dr. Nose, The Snorcerer, Sneezecake the chef, Sniffer the dog and the rarest and scariest Nose of all, Frankinose! And by rare, you only have a 1 in 900 chance of finding it.
So grab you nose, make it red and have some fun this year all in aid of a good cause.