At 8pm every Thursday evening, the people of Britain go to their front doors, porches, garden gates or leans out of their windows and applauds. With clapped hands, the banging of saucepans, bagpipes or vuvuzelas. It's all about recognising the work of NHS staffers and social carers in this time of trial, applauding those who risk their lives caring for us all. But this Thursday, April 23rd, we will have a special hype crowd to gee us all up, in the form of Doctor Who. All ten of them. You didn't know when you were well off.
Ten actors who played The Doctor in Doctor Who will join in with a special message to play out just before 8pm on BBC One, as part of the channel's Big Night In, a telethon that brings the forces of Comic Relief and Children In Need, together for the first time. Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Jo Martin, Jodie Whittaker, Peter Capaldi, Matt Smith and David Tennant will give a message of thanks to doctors and NHS staff.
The evening will also include performances and appearances by other Doctor Who stars Catherine Tate, Matt Lucas and Peter Kay, alongside Jodie Whittaker. Matt Lucas and David Walliams will be reprising Little Britain for the first time in ten years. Catherine Tate will, with David Tennant, revive their Comic Relief sketch with her schoolgirl character Lauren who is being remotely educated by her Time Lord teacher. Matt Lucas' revived Baked Potato song has been raising money for NHS charities, so we can expect an all-star rendition of that Shooting Stars favourite. While Walliams will offer fans the chance to name a character in his next book.
Dawn French will reprise her lead role in a new version of the sitcom The Vicar Of Dibley. As she has stopped self-isolating in the confectionary aisle of her local supermarket, now back in her vicarage with a message of hope. Peter Kay will unveil a new all-star lipsynch version of Is This The Way To Amarillo. Viewers who wish to march alomg and be included are asked to film themselves in landscape and upload the footage to social media with the hashtag #BigNightInAmarillo. Another all-star charity single with Dua Lipa, Chris Martin, Rita Ora Ellie Goulding, Jess Glynne, Paloma Faith, Rag 'N' Bone Man is a cover of Foo Fighters' 2003 track Times Like These, and will get its first play.
Other stars appearing in the three hour show will include Matt Baker, Zoe Ball, Sir Lenny Henry, Paddy McGuinness and Davina McCall hosting, with Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Jack Whitehall, Romesh Ranganathan, Mary Berry Miranda Hart, Little Mix, Sam Smith, and the cast of People Just Do Nothing lined up to appear. Gary Barlow will perform Sing with friends including Liam Payne, Katherine Jenkins and Alfie Boe. The Strictly Come Dancing judges have a new routine for people to learn at home for exercising purposes. An EastEnders virtual pub quiz will be hosted by Ian Beale.
BBC's The Big Night In will aim to raise millions of pounds for vulnerable people around the UK and the government has pledged to match all public donations, with a minimum of £20 million. And a little Doctor Who all round.