Julia Roberts and Elton John join efforts to raise funds on US Red Nose Day


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Julia Roberts, Elton John and Jack Black joined a star-studded line-up as America raised more than 30 million dollars on its second Red Nose Day.

The total pledged during the two-hour television special, hosted by Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson, surpassed the 23 million dollars donated at last year's inaugural event in the US.

Julia appeared visibly moved as she visited the Children First Academy in Phoenix, Arizona, to meet youngsters living below the poverty line. The Hollywood star heard how children are now receiving care thanks to new funding for a school nurse.

Jack updated viewers on the story of a boy called Felix he met in Uganda last year.

The actor broke down in tears during a visit to the African country after hearing Felix had been living on the streets for three years following the death of his mother.

But there was happier news to report in 2016 after it was revealed Felix was now living with foster parents and attending school.

Actress Margot Robbie appeared on the show in a bathtub as she urged viewers to donate, while Elton performed his single A Good Heart.

Singer Ed Sheeran had earlier posted a video while travelling in Japan in which he promised to dress up in a red tutu and eat "disgusting" fermented beans and sea snails if the total raised on Red Nose Day surpassed last year's amount.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda donated 7.75 million dollars through their foundation, taking the total raised during the show to 30,703,465 dollars.

America's Red Nose Day follows in the footsteps of Britain's Comic Relief and Sport Relief which have raised more than £1 billion over the last 30 years.