BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw broadcast a special fundraising show on Thursday morning that included a number of absurd on-air stunts, including Grimmy basking in a tub full of mealworms, the DJ’s stripping down, and, most notably, supermodel Kate Moss reading aloud from pervy novel, Fifty Shades of Grey.
It was all done for a good cause, of course … raising money in support of Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day … and they did a remarkable job, raising more than £250,000 over the course of the three and a half hour long show.
A number of special guests made appearances, including pop singer Jessie J, girl group Little Mix, boy band Union J, adorable little singer Conor Maynard, Comic Relief founders Richard Curtis and Lenny Henry, and, of course, the incomparable Kate Moss.
The show was organized by monetary targets, with a certain stunt promised as the milestone was achieved. It began quite simply with Grimmy and his co-hosts stripping down to swimsuits for £10,000.
At the £20,000 threshold, the slutty/sweet girls of Little Mix and the gayish One Direction … whoops! I mean Union J … participated in a rather pathetic “Cinnamon Challenge” which involved swallowing a tablespoon of cinnamon. It sounds simple enough, but evidently it’s quite disgusting … so thoroughly drying out your mouth that the body rejects it and burps out great blooms of cinnamon dust. Other than Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock storming out of the studio and never returning, it was a massive bore.
The £60,000 stunt was also disappointing. Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, blindfolded and on roller skates, was pushed down the studio’s hallway and waiting for him at the far end were three celebrities: Union J’s Josh Cuthbert, blonde bombshell Vanessa (the Undresser) Feltz, and Olympic gymnast Louis Smith … all dressed in ridiculous blow-up outfits. Whichever one Scott happened to blindly careen into, he had to make out with. Vanessa was the lucky girl and it was quite a session. (Apparently she has very soft lips.) Skip to £125,000.
Grimmy hopped into a bathtub and a few special guests, including Jessie J, poured 200 kilos of mealworms over his head and body. Evidently, mealworms are smelly, like to burrow, and this batch was said to be on the verge of hatching into beetles. Truly vile. But I used to watch lots of Fear Factor, so it didn’t seem near as frightful as they made it sound.
The big reward came when they hit £200,000. For hitting this milestone, Kate Moss … whose image is inescapable no matter where you are in this world, but whose voice is very rarely heard … read a few paragraphs from Fifty Shades of Grey. She was clearly nervous, which was oddly charming, but she did a lovely job. Her voice is actually super-sexy, though she could have chosen a raunchier and/or longer passage. Kate’s reading was definitely the highlight of the program and she was an exceptionally good sport.
At £250,000, Grimmy dyed his hair pink. It’s fabulous.
Overall, the broadcast fell a bit flat … trying hard to be edgy, but never lifting past mildly amusing. Regardless, it’s wonderful to see such broad support for such a worthwhile cause. Cheers to everyone who contributed.