Mark Watson’s 25-hour Comedy Marathon for Comic Relief: gallery and videos

Highlights from the stand-up's day-and-a-bit-long charity comedy show

  • © Debbie Dye

    25-hour party people: Mark Watson mid-way through the day-long show.

  • © Comic Relief

    'The Last Leg' host Adam Hills joins Watson on stage.

  • © Comic Relief

    Emma Kennedy (right) was camping – and weeing – on stage for the full 25-hours.

  • © Comic Relief

    Silent comedy sensation The Boy with Tape on His Face calls in via Skype.

  • © Debbie Dye

    The adorable Tiernan Douieb (middle), post-custard pieing.

  • © Debbie Dye

    Sanderson Jones and Mikey Lear celebrate breaking the world-record for the longest ever hug with a Guinness World Records official.

  • © Debbie Dye

    Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis pops in to get things on message.

  • © Debbie Dye

    Over 12 hours in, Watson's still going strong.

  • © Debbie Dye

    Watson has a well-earned sit down, accompanying Vikki Stone's power-ballad.

  • © Debbie Dye

    Time Out's Danielle Goldstein, second row back on the right, powers on through the final few hours.

© Debbie Dye

25-hour party people: Mark Watson mid-way through the day-long show.

Understated stand-up Mark Watson held a 25-hour comedy show at the Pleasance Theatre to celebrate Red Nose Day's quarter century. Danielle Goldstein survived the whole experience to share the best, and most bizarre, moments.

Half an hour before it begins, two men are comically negotiating a huge red number five up the stairs to the Pleasance theatre, like a sketch straight out of the ‘ChuckleVision’.
Following a 25-second countdown by Tim Key, Mark Watson kicks off the first hour with a little explanation of his marathon shows, which he began in 2004: ‘If you’ve been to a Long Show before, you’ll know it’s essentially an exercise in this: me talking.’
Let’s get squirting! Watson hands me a can of whipped cream and a stack of paper plates so that I can slap pies into Tiernan Douieb’s face every hour, on the hour. Douieb’s being sponsored to do this, and other challenges are taking place too; funnywoman and author of ‘The Tent, the Bucket and Me’ Emma Kennedy is camping – and weeing – on stage for the full 25-hours.
12 midnight
Until now, Tiernan has spent the first hour learning the piano in a monster onesie (his other 25-hour fundraising stunt), but it’s time for his first pie, which, in my haste to make has melted into a white slop. Lovely.

Aussie presenter of ‘The Last Leg’, Adam Hills divulges that ‘unfortunately, Channel 4 is a massive pile of talking cocaine’ and won’t let him link live to what is now being referred to as #25hours during his show that night.
Just threw a pie in Tiernan’s face, but that beastly Hound got there first with a mysterious pint of pink liquid that he’s named a ‘Gay Hound’.
It has been discovered that ‘Scrubs’ actor Zach Braff is in town, so Watson makes a plea to people watching the live stream to get him down to the Pleasance, while Hound and Hills play piano in the background.
Tiernan and I celebrate the fifth pieing and making it a fifth of the way through the show with a high five.
I venture to the foyer for my first toilet break and people are passed out on the sofas, while Pierre Novellie, the resident artist and another 25-hour challenger, is beavering away on a piece titled ‘Broken Promises’.

I’m flagging. As I drift in and out, I catch glimpses of Emma Kennedy weeing in a bucket behind a mural that Markus Birdman has been drawing for nearly six hours.
Watson leads us all outside to see the sun, except the weather is grey and it’s drizzling. So we take a visit to the other challenges taking place in the building, such as Oliver Fisher, who’s watching ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’ back-to-back for 25 hours, and Mark Deeks and Innis Carson who are part way through 405 rounds of ‘Countdown’.
David Schneider just threw a ‘sweaty croissant’ – as he describes it – at me, having held it for 10 minutes while Watson talked to Shaun Keaveny on BBC 6 Music.
The Boy With Tape On His Face – in the middle of a sponsored silence – Skypes us with his baby, as well as his daschund, his siamese cat and a toy dinosaur and performs a quick magic trick involving a mug and pound coins.

As the crowd start tiring, Tiernan kicks off a mass ‘Harlem Shake’ from the middle of the audience.
Jane Garvey from ‘Woman’s Hour’ arrives to interview Watson. ‘You want some actual comedy?’ he responds to her questioning. ‘That’s something we haven’t quite covered yet.’
A man from Guinness World Records calls time on Sanderson Jones and Mikey Lear, who have been hugging for a record-breaking 25 hours and 33 minutes. It’s making me tear up a little, but only because I’m so sleep-deprived. Honest.
Mexican chain Chipotle have sent us 100 free burritos and I turn into a ravenous animal at the sight of hot food.
Richard Curtis pokes his head in to give us a pep talk and schools Watson on Comic Relief. Apparently ‘it’s not about goats’.

To celebrate the half-way mark, Watson, who hates loud noises, chickens out of setting off a confetti canon. Hip! Hip! Hurr… eh?
Some drums materialise, which Caitlin Moran has lent Watson, he explains, for the purpose of backing Vikki Stone and her string quartet in a power ballad while the audience blow up balloons. Except me, because I, like Watson, am terrified of them bursting in my face.
Two clowns from Mr Fips’ Wonder Circus turn up to give Tiernan a mega gunking with three humungous pies and a tubful of custard. Poor Tiernan is slipping all over the place – just as well he raised £1,605.
Jennifer Saunders has popped in, bringing with her scented candles and knickers for the ladies. She then proceeds to negotiate with Emma Kennedy about piss levels. You see, Saunders has agreed to pay her £1,000 for 10 on-stage wees, which Kennedy is putting towards Rufus Hound’s ‘cock fund’; more on that later…

Simon Amstell rocks up for a short warm-up set ahead of his Wembley spot at Russell Brand’s ‘Give It Up For Comic Relief’ gig, imparting razor-sharp witticisms.
‘Zach Braff is a guy we think is fly,’ sing Watson and Tiernan on an amended version of ‘No Scrubs’ regarding Braff’s no-show.
Another celeb, Rachel Riley, shows up with a life-size ‘Countdown’ board that she brought in her mum’s Toyota Prius.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy is here now, reading the news headlines live before auctioning off his script, which he ‘literally fished out of the bin’, for £100.
Pierre has painted Time Out a punk in a cauldron. ‘I’m most proud of the logo,’ he says, ‘considering my caffeine jitters’.

Braff has been spotted eating fish and chips and the crowd are so outraged at his absence that people tweet en masse that he’s dead. Scary mob vibes abound at the moment.
Three hours left to go and I’m a husk of a human. I’m struggling to emote at all, let alone laugh.
The final hour arrives! The stage is a complete mess – covered in shaving cream and cluttered with Riley’s ‘Countdown’ board, Kennedy’s tent, Birdman’s mural, the huge 2 and 5 that have bookended the stage from the beginning, a castle made out of cakes and 25 eggs lined up on a plank propped up by two chairs. Ooh, I wonder what those could be for…

The big moment. Rufus Hound is leaping in the air in order to smash 25 eggs with the mallet taped to his penis, which is flopped through a homemade hole in his leggings. It’s a disturbing sight, especially when he yanks the mallet off in one aggressive tug. I may not have a penis, but I imagine I winced just as hard as the guys in the audience.
The total raised by Watson is £42,632. The total raised by Hound’s cock is £3,240.
12 midnight
Adam Hills returns, bringing Jonathan Ross with him, and the pair donate £12,000 for the honour of shoving Tiernan face first into the cake castle. ‘Fuck me,’ exclaims Watson, ‘if I knew we could do it this quickly, I wouldn’t have bothered with the rest’. And miss out on those 25 hours of delirium? No chance.

Red Nose Day takes place on Friday March 15. To find out how you can get involved visit

Latest comedy features

London Punderground: comedian Darren Walsh puns the tube map

‘They want to extend the Northern line, but I think this is Morden adequate.’

Jessie Cave shares some exclusive doodles

The twee comedian and ‘Harry Potter’ star draws Time Out a few London-themed drawings

Doug Stanhope’s top ten stand-ups

The hellraising US stand-up and Time Out favourite picks his favourite fellow comics

Joseph Morpurgo: on the record

The Foster’s Award nominee talks us through some hidden gems from his record collection

See more comedy features