LONDON, March 17 (UPI) -- Celebrities raised a record $113.6 million as part of the Red Nose Day fundraising telethon to benefit Britain's Comic Relief charity, officials said.
The 25th annual telethon featured a host of musicians, actors, comedians, professional athletes and other celebrities Friday, the BBC reported Saturday.
Actor Russell Brand announced at approximately 1:30 a.m. local time Saturday the telethon had raised $113.6 million, beating its previous high total of $112.6 million in 2011.
The total includes $24.3 million pledged by the government, the BBC reported.
Funds raised by Comic Relief go toward helping more than half a million of Africa's poorest women and girls. The funds go toward improving literacy, getting girls to school, care for expectant mothers, promoting women's rights and eliminating genital mutilation.