The event has been running in its present telethon format since 1980 although the event’s roots go back to 1927 when Auntie Beeb made a 5-minute radio broadcast to raise money for a number of children’s charities.
The main presenter of the Children In Need telethon evening has been Sir Terry Wogan from the very start although he has been joined by a number of different co-presenters over the years including Sue Lawley, Joanna Lumley, Gaby Roslin and Natasha Laplinsky. Tonight Terry is set to be joined by Strictly’s Tess Daly, Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw and Fearne Cotton.
As ever there are several Children In Need special edition programmes due to be shown tonight including a special edition of Strictly Come Dancing which sees the return of both Ann Widdecombe and Russell Grant. Both Ann and Russell won a host of fans during their time on the show but it was for their entertainment value rather than their dancing abilities.
Other ‘specials’ tonight include features from Top Gear and Eastenders, which will star Lord Sugar in an episode called The Walford Apprentice.
Amongst other events scheduled for this evening’s broadcast are the showing of a special video featuring 20 Olympic and Paralympic stars dancing to Psy’s Gangnam Style.
This year’s official Children In Need single is Something New by Girls Aloud. The single is due to be released on 18 November but copies can already be pre-ordered. For every download of the single 10p will be donated to Children In Need with a further 50p per single being raised by sales of the single in high street shops.
Girls Aloud will be Performing Something New live on tonight’s Children In Need programme and it will no doubt be a highlight of the evening for all their loyal fans who have had to wait a long time since the girls were last seen performing on stage together.
Expectations for tonight’s show are high as last year’s Children In Need event raised £26m on the evening with the total rising to £46m over the year. All money raised by Children In Need goes to helping disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.
In case you were wondering how Children In Need mascot Pudsey Bear got his name it comes from the name of the town in Yorkshire where Pudsey’s designer Joanna Ball was born. Pudsey made his debut on the fundraiser back in 1985 and has been a firm favourite ever since.