AS boss of one of the region's most successful companies, John Elliott always has plenty on his plate.

However, for one day only, Mr Elliott, who runs the Ebac water cooler business in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, is ditching his pinstripe suit for a pinny.

He and his wife, Margaret, one of his senior managers, are among thousands of people in the North joining in Red Nose Day today.

They are going to work as their favourite Coronation Street characters - Mr Elliott stringing sausages as butcher Fred Elliott and his wife dressing as hairdresser Audrey Roberts.

She is also transforming herself into stern question mistress Anne Robinson for a Weakest Link quiz of the factory's team leaders.

While there will be plenty of fun on the factory floor, with a Red Nose T-shirt for every worker, the Ebac team hopes to top the £4,000 they handed to Comic Relief after Red Nose Day 2003.

Meanwhile, supporters of Comic Relief have been warned to watch out for bogus charity collectors today.

The Charity Commission yesterday revealed a scam with fraudsters trying to collect in supermarkets by using fake charity registration numbers. Anyone concerned about donating is asked to check the collector's registration number by calling 0870 333 0123.

* See tomorrow's Northern Echo for more Comic Relief stories.