BBC's 'Children in Need' appeal raises over ?20 mn

MUMBAI: UK pubcaster the BBC has announced that its charioty initiative for kids, BBC Children in Need, has raised ?20,991,216, beating all previous records and taking the total since the telethon began to over half a billion pounds.

The pubcaster says that since 1980, the BBC One appeal show has provided a feast of Friday night entertainment and this year was no exception with stars from the world of pop, stage and screen taking to the stage to raise money for disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

Terry Wogan, Tess Daly and Fearne Cotton presented the seven-hour entertainment marathon, live from London‘s Television Centre, as the corporation‘s biggest broadcast event linked BBC centres and celebrated the efforts of fundraisers all over the country.

On the night, viewers enjoyed live entertainment from BBC studios in Belfast, Cardiff and Glasgow, as well as broadcasts from a diverse range of venues around England, and there was additional coverage on BBC TV, radio and online in the build-up to appeal night.

McFly opened the proceedings on BBC One with their official Children in Need single and were followed by top musical stars including Take That, Girls Aloud, Boyzone, Sugababes and Alesha Dixon.

Other highlights included the BBC Newsreaders‘ unique take on Abba‘s Mamma Mia; the East End met the West End as stars of Albert Square performed popular show tunes, while Coronation Street discovered How To Look Good Naked with Gok Wan.

Stars of The Bill rocked the studio with a tribute to The Blues Brothers; Richard Hammond took Gene Hunt‘s beloved car for a spin when Top Gear met Ashes To Ashes; and children took over the kitchen in Masterchef.

The audience was also treated to a sneak preview of this year‘s Doctor Who Christmas special and Tess triumphed over Terry in Strictly Come Dance.

Radio 2 listeners helped raise ?2 million, with one anonymous caller bidding ?100,000 in the Auction Of Things Money Can‘t Buy for a guitar master class with Mark Knopfler, while The One Show‘s Pennies For Pudsey campaign and the Celebrity Scissorhands on BBC Three, helped drive the total even higher.

From cake sales in the office, to talent contests at school, a sponsored litter pick-up, sleepovers in haunted houses, to a 24-hour cycle marathon involving two Paralympians, a huge community of supporters has responded to the "Do Something Different" fundraising theme.

BBC Children in Need CEO David Ramsden says, "I am completely overwhelmed by the way the country has come together in support of BBC Children in Need, demonstrating such generosity in these tough times, and I‘d like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved.

"We can now focus our attention on finding more great projects that can change young lives for the better."

BBC Children in Need‘s mission is to positively change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

BBC Children in Need awards grants to organisations working with children aged 18 and under who have mental, physical or sensory disabilities; behavioural or psychological disorders; are living in poverty or situations of deprivation; or suffering through distress, abuse or neglect.

The charity is supported by a number of corporate partners including Asda, Boots, Costco, Royal Mail, Greggs, Regenersis, NatWest and the BBC‘s operational partner BT.

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