British public raise more than £39 million for Children in Need

Graham Norton and Mel Giedroyc presenting BBC Children In Need as the appeal raised more than £39 million following its annual fundraising show. Source: PA. Picture by: James Stack

BBC Children In Need has raised more than £39 million following its annual fundraising show.

The 41st year of the appeal show featured appearances from stars including pop group Abba, actor Stephen Fry, Strictly professional dancer Oti Mabuse, Olympian gymnast Max Whitlock and broadcaster Clare Balding.

Ed Sheeran, Tom Grennan and RuPaul’s Drag Race stars were among those to provide musical entertainment during the programme.

At the end of the programme, co-hosts of the live show, Graham Norton and Mel Giedroyc, thanked viewers for their “amazing generosity” as it was announced that a total of £39,389,048 has been raised.

Welsh weatherman Owain Wyn Evans contributed £3,601,138 to that total with his 24-hour drumathon.

The gruelling challenge saw the presenter drumming through the day and night, with many famous drummers making an appearance along the way including McFly’s Harry Judd, Pulp’s Nick Banks, Cherisse Osei and from Simple Minds.

Alex Scott, Chris Ramsey and Ade Adepitan also presented at the beginning of the programme, which was broadcast from Salford, Greater Manchester for the first time.

The music video for Children In Need’s 2021 charity single was shown for the first time during the live show, which features a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic track Everywhere by pop stars Niall Horan and Anne-Marie.

The video was also filled with a host of star-studded cameos including Ed Sheeran on guitar, Lewis Capaldi on tambourine, Griff on synths and Yungblud on bass.

The show was opened with a vibrant performance by Sheeran to his latest single Overpass Graffiti, and Grennan later sang a rendition of his hit track By Your Side in a singalong with schools across the UK.

The first segment of the show saw Olympic and Paralympic athletes, including Whitlock, diver Matty Lee and cyclist and swimmer Dame Sarah Storey, compete against one another in school sports day games, such as the sack race and egg and spoon race.

BBC Sport presenter Mike Bushell, broadcaster Jason Mohammad and newsreader Kate Silverton also went head to head in a special edition of I Can See Your Voice.

After the trio of news and sports presenters had lip-synced, the judging panel guessed Bushell was the presenter who could not sing, meaning he had to perform again.

After a second number, where he sang Don’t You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia, it confirmed that the panel were indeed correct.

Ru Paul’s Drag Race stars Veronic Green, Divina de Campo and Tia Kofi also joined the cast of the Dolly Parton musical for a rendition of the country singer’s hit song 9 to 5.

Soap stars collided as EastEnders’ Janine Butcher and Coronation Street’s Steve McDonald starred in a sketch where they go looking for love on Channel 4’s First Dates.

After a lot of confusion with McDonald not realising he was on a date and Butcher saying she asked for a “millionaire businessman, preferably in his 80s” in walks Emmerdale’s Eric Pollard to the restaurant, who says: “My names Pollard, Eric Pollard, licensed to thrill”.

Fellow EastEnders actor Danny Dyer also presented a special edition of his popular game show The Wall with presenting duo Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes, while CBBC puppet stars Basil Brush and Hacker T Dog also featured in a comedic sketch.


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