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Jony Ive redesigns Comic Relief's iconic red nose

Sir Lenny Henry wearing the new Jony Ive-designed red nose for charity

Last updated

UK charity Comic Relief has revealed that its 2023 Red Nose Day event features a brand new red nose by iPhone designer Jony Ive.

Comic Relief centers on an evening of fundraising comedy on the UK's BBC1, similar to PBS charity telethons, and every year, people show support in part by buying red noses. To press people into always buying new ones to help the charity, Comic Relief also regularly gets the plastic nose redesigned.

Now BBC children's show Newsround has revealed that this year it has had "the most dramatic makeover since the red nose made its debut in 1988." Jony Ive's design is 95% plant-based, and comes in a flat circle that pops out to become the famous spherical red nose.

"We've grown up with Comic Relief and are proud to support their remarkable work," said Jony Ive in a statement sent to AppleInsider. "This new and seemingly simple Red Nose has been a fabulously complex little object to design and make and has involved our entire team. We hope it brings a little moment of joy to everyone who wears one."

The new Red Nose designed by Jony Ive
The new Red Nose designed by Jony Ive

"The Red Nose has always been a tiny thing that makes a huge difference," said "Love Actually" screenwriter and Comic Relief co-creator, Richard Curtis. "It's been on quite a journey over the past three decades and has transformed in the most wonderful ways — from a slightly painful piece of plastic to a tomato to aspongeto woodland themed creatures."

"Now we enter a new era and are delighted to bring you a completely new Red Nose to enjoy, thanks to our friend the design genius, Jony Ive," he continued. "One thing that will never change though, is that when you buy a Nose you help to change lives."

"We know times are tough for many people right now, and I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supports us this year," said Curtis. "We really hope you enjoy our new Nose and wear it with pride this Red Nose Day, knowing the difference you are making."

The new Red Nose is available from Amazon for the equivalent of about $3.

Comic Relief is fronted by a series of UK celebrities, and features cameos or even special editions of popular British shows. Most famously, in 1999 it saw Steven Moffat's debut as a "Doctor Who" writer in an extended skit called "The Curse of Fatal Death."

The celebrities announced so far for this year include David Tennant, plus ones from "Strictly Come Dancing" — the UK's original version of "Dancing with the Stars."

"When I saw the new Red Nose for this year, I was very impressed," said actor and Comic Relief presenter Sindhu Vee. "It's very delicate and very beautifully made - and I mean, who doesn't like a Red Nose?!"

Red Nose Day is on March 17, 2023.

Jony Ive was design head at Apple from 1997 to 2019. He left to form his own design firm, LoveFrom, which initially also consulted for Apple.

Updated: 07:10 ET with quotes from Jony Ive and Richard Curtis.