Comic Relief, Blair raise $78 million

March 17, 2007 at 6:04 PM

LONDON, March 17 (UPI) -- The Comic Relief charity group raised more than $78 million during an eight-hour TV special thanks in part to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The BBC said Blair joined comedian Catherine Tate on Friday in a sketch set at his London office, where he became the target for her popular catchphrase "Am I bovvered?"

Afterwards, the prime minister joked about sharing the stage with Tate's schoolgirl character Lauren.

"Meeting Lauren was an experience in itself, she didn't seem 'bovvered' by anything," Blair joked. "But I hope she will put her time spent at Number 10 to good use."

Also lending their time to the annual fundraising event were supermodel Elle McPherson, actor Daniel Craig, comedian Ricky Gervais and TV chef Jamie Oliver.

While Comic Relief had been soliciting donations since Jan. 31, the BBC said that most of the $78 million was gathered during Friday's star-studded TV special.

The charity benefits Africa and British underprivileged.

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