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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

Celebrities come together in kazoo band for BBC Radio 3 Red Nose Show

Katie Derham
  • Royal Albert Hall – Monday 14 March 2011, 7.30pm
  • Personalities from the worlds of comedy and entertainment to form kazoo band for Radio 3's Red Nose Day event – The Big Red Nose Show – at the Royal Albert Hall
  • Audience invited to come and join celebrity kazoo band as Radio 3 attempt to break the official Guinness World Record for largest Kazoo ensemble.

Celebrities including Miranda Hart, Jenny Eclair, Stephen Mangan, Emma Kennedy, Tracy-Ann Oberman and many more will be forming a special kazoo band as part of Radio 3's Big Red Nose Show – a special event featuring classical music and comedy at the Royal Albert Hall.

The kazoo band, featuring more than 50 celebrities, will perform alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra and, along with the rest of the audience, will attempt to break the official Guinness World Record for the largest kazoo ensemble on the planet.

They will be joined by kazoo group Masters Of The Kazooniverse as they pick up their instruments and 'buzz' their way through classics including the Dambusters March and Ride Of The Valkyries.

Multi-award-winning comedienne Miranda Hart, who recently picked up three gongs at the British Comedy Awards, says she's looking forward to the event: "It's fantastic how many people are taking part in this brilliant fundraising event. It's going to be a real spectacle. I just need to work out what a kazoo actually is, and then work out how to play it. It's fun even saying 'kazoo' so I can't wait."

A number of media personalities will also be joining the kazoo band including journalist Boyd Hilton, columnist Caitlin Moran and news presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

In the run-up to the event, an online kazoo tutorial starring Katie Derham and Basil Brush alongside Masters Of The Kazooniverse will be available to view on This will feature a useful and entertaining step-by-step guide on how to play the pieces for the kazoo world record attempt and general instructions on how to get the most from your kazoo!

The kazoo extravaganza forms the finale of the evening which includes performances by violinist Nicola Benedetti, cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, Shuna Scott Sendall (winner of the 2010 BBC Radio 2 Kiri Prize) and comedians Tim Vine and Marcus Brigstocke.

Sue Perkins, winner of BBC Two series Maestro will also be raising her baton to conduct the BBC Concert Orchestra, all to raise money for Comic Relief.

The evening will be hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenter Katie Derham with help from her mischievous fox sidekick, Basil Brush.

Several of the celebrity participants have already expressed their excitement and enthusiasm for being part of the kazoo band.

"The thought of standing on stage at the Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Concert Orchestra and playing a kazoo is SO thrilling I might actually spontaneously combust," says Emma Kennedy.

"I'm looking forward to being part of an event that combines classical music, comedy and kazoos – a great idea to raise money for Comic Relief," says Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

"Thousands of kazoos in the Royal Albert Hall... if that isn't funny I don't know what is," says Jenny Eclair.

"What could be more fun than playing in a kazoo band for Comic Relief? It will be hilarious!" says Richard Bacon.

The event will be broadcast on Radio 3 on Friday 18 March at 7pm.

For more information on the Big Red Nose Show and how to purchase tickets, go to

Event and Ticket information

Tickets £5-£40 (includes free kazoo). 95% of ticket purchase price goes to Comic Relief.

To purchase tickets please go to the Royal Albert Hall box office 0845 401 5045 / or

Notes to Editors

About Comic Relief

  • Red Nose Day 2011 is heading your way on Friday 18 March when the great British public will once again be asked to Do Something Funny For Money.
  • To join in the fun go to and find out how you can get involved.
  • By raising cash this Red Nose Day, you're helping to change lives forever. That's because Comic Relief spends all the money raised by the public to give extremely vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa a helping hand to turn their lives around.
  • Comic Relief was launched on Christmas Day in 1985, live on BBC One. At that time, a devastating famine was crippling Ethiopia and something had to be done. That something was Comic Relief. The idea was simple – Comic Relief would make the public laugh while they raised money to help people in desperate need. Before too long, Red Nose Day was created and the first ever event in 1988 raised a staggering £15m. To date, 12 Red Nose Days have raised more than £500m. That money has helped, and is helping, to support people and communities in dire need both in the UK and Africa.
  • Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland).

Kazoo fact file

  • The kazoo is a wind instrument which adds a 'buzzing' timbral quality to a player's voice as they sing or speak into the instrument. The device modifies the sound of a person's voice by way of a vibrating membrane.
  • The instrument is tube shaped, with one flattened end and a circular membrane.
  • By fully or partially covering the membrane hole a huge variety of sounds can be created.
  • The kazoo can be made out of plastic or metal.
  • The kazoo is based on an ancient wooden African instrument used in sacred ceremonies as a voice disguiser.
  • The first kazoo as we now know it was invented in the 19th century by an African American named Alabama Vest, in Georgia, United States.
  • The kazoo is technically a member of the membranophone family, which, other than the kazoo, is a group made up entirely of drums.
  • The first recording ever to feature a kazoo was the Arkensas Blues by the Mound City Blowers. It sold over a million copies.
  • Since then Bowling For Soup, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and Leonard Bernstein have all been unlikely champions of the instrument.
  • Eric Clapton uses the kazoo on his cover version of San Francisco Bay Blues taken from his Unnplugged record from 1991.
  • The current Guinness World Record for largest kazoo ensemble is 3,861, and was achieved by St George Bank at WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarth, in Sydney, Australia, on 29 March 2009.

The event is the culmination of a six-week campaign from Radio 3 and its six performing groups as they 'do something funny for money'. It will be broadcast on Radio 3 on Friday 18 March at 7pm. Further details to be announced in due course.


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