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12 unforgettable moments from Claudia and Tess's Longest Ever Danceathon

12 March 2019

BBC Radio 2's Claudia Winkleman and her Strictly Come Dancing co-presenter Tess Daly pledged to practice what they preach and 'Keep Dancing' in a mammoth marathon that saw them shimmy their way through the longest ever Danceathon challenge in Red Nose Day history.

The duo were on their feet for over 24 hours and by the end of their challenge had raised an incredible £1,012,483 for Comic Relief in the process.

Throughout, Claudia and Tess were joined by a whole host of celebrity supporters to spur them on. We've taken a look back at some of the many highlights from over 24 hours of dancing - featuring Jeremy Vine and Rylan's Dance-off, Mary Berry's dancefloor antics, live music performances from the likes of Fleur East, Beverley Knight and the stars of many hit musicals, all leading up to the moment this epic dancing challenge reached its climax.

1 | Mary Berry's dance floor antics

The Queen of Baking, Mary Berry, stole the Danceathon early-on with her dance floor antics during Jo Whiley's Radio 2 show.

But it was mainly that sneaky moment she reappeared to retrieve her bag which many eagle-eyed viewers were keen to point out on social media.

Oh Mary, we've all been there when someone has left something on the dance floor.

2 | Beverley Knight covering Chaka Khan

To help Tess and Claudia keep dancing, not only did they have their own personal choreographers on hand, but they also had some fantastic musical accompaniment throughout the 24 hours and 5 minutes of the challenge, featuring the likes of Andy Burrows, Nell Bryden, Hannah Grace, Cassidy Janson and Calum Scott.

An early highlight was Radio 2 favourite, Beverley Knight, who dropped by to chat to Trevor Nelson about her 25 years in the game, before performing a flawless cover of Chaka Khan's I'm Every Woman.

3 | Fleur East helping the girls over the half-way point of their Danceathon

4 | Richard Curtis reminding us why Comic Relief's work is so important

Richard Curtis dropped by to remind everyone about the work Comic Relief does.

He explained, while doing a 'doing a very small version of the waltz', exactly just how far this "life saving and changing" money goes. He highlighted for example: "It now costs 30p for a kit to see if a child has malaria so for £30 you could save 30 lives".

5 | Richie Anderson's dance-tastic travel news

Richie reads out the travel news every weekday The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on Radio 2, and he seriously embraced the spirit of the Danceathon on Tuesday morning.

"The M5 Northbound is stationary," said Richie, as he busted incredible moves, most of us haven't seen since Saturday Night Fever. Every travel news from this moment onwards should be delivered with an accompanying dance.

6 | Let them eat cake!

7 | Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snow turning up unannounced to bust some moves

Just as Claudia and Tess were beginning to seriously tire, Jeremy Vine and Jon Snow, in a rare break from news and politics, stepped in to brighten their mood.

These guys seriously know their moves!

8 | Ed Balls flaunts his Gangnam style

Remember that moment in Strictly history when Ed Balls and Katya Jones took to the stage for a salsa rendition of Gangnam Style in 2016?

Naturally the couple had to reunite for this year's Danceathon and show Tess, Claudia and Jeremy Vine how to master those Gangnam moves from riding an invisible horse to throwing a good old lasso.

9 | Jeremy Vine and Rylan in one of history's least likely dance-offs

Clearly a Danceathon wouldn't be complete without a good old fashioned dance-off.

Thrown into the ring were Rylan and Jeremy Vine. We will leave it up to you to decide who came out the winner of this one.

10 | Claudia and Tess smashing the half-a-million mark in donations

In the first 18 hours, Claudia and Tess raised £319k - then Steve Wright challenged his listeners to lift the total to half a million.

Just before Steve's show finished, he had some big news for Tess and Claudia - they had, in fact, smashed it! Raising a massive £517,660 - that's £198,448 in a matter of hours!

It all got very emotional in the studio as our Danceathon pair broke down into tears, and they revealed they had thought Steve's target was a little ambitious at best:

"When you said you wanted to raise that much we didn’t want to say don’t be silly," Claudia admitted, "That means so many people donated. We are incredibly grateful."

11 | Stars from some of London's biggest hit musicals giving their support to Claudia and Tess!

It wasn’t just musicians who came in to spur Tess and Claudia on we also had performances - a number of cast members from hit London shows also came in to have a boogie.

First in were the cast of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, followed by Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, the guys from MAMMA MIA! in their underwater gear, plus stars from Six The Musical, The Rocky Horror Show and School of Rock.

12 | The moment Claudia and Tess completed their Danceathon

They started dancing 24 hours earlier to Beyonce's Crazy In Love, and came full circle by dancing to Survivor by Destiny's Child as the Danceathon reached its epic climax.

Claudia and Tess went beyond the standard set by previous Comic Relief Danceathons and danced for a grand total of 24 hours and 5 minutes!

Thank you to all our special guests who lent their support to Claudia and Tess during their Danceathon, and to everyone who donated. There's still time to make a donation, all the details can be found elsewhere on this page.

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