LONDON: Lewis Capaldi, Graham Norton, Joe Wicks and Diversity were among the stars who helped raise millions for this year’s Children in Need appeal.
The annual BBC One charity night has raised more than £35m so far – slightly down on last year’s £39m. It also saw the 18-year-old Coronation Street actress Millie Gibson named as Doctor Who’s new companion. Celebrity fundraising efforts included Wicks walking a 30-mile ultra-marathon and raising more than £500,000.
Comedian Jason Manford, who presented the show for the first time, said it was “astounding” and thanked the public for their donations to “the millions” of children who face a “tough winter ahead”.
Ade Adepitan, Chris Ramsey and Alex Scott also helped host the show, and there were appearances from famous faces including Eurovision runner-up Sam Ryder, TV presenter Lorraine Kelly and comedian Romesh Ranganathan.
Friday’s three-hour programme was kicked off by singer-songwriter Mimi Webb with a rendition of Ghost of You. In a pre-recorded clip, England footballer Mason Mount surprised fundraising schoolchildren during a tour of Wembley Stadium. Junior Eurovision Song Contest participant Freya Skye performed on stage live for the first time with the song Lose My Head.
Also on Friday, TV presenter Bradley Walsh hosted a children’s takeover of Blankety Blank. Contestants included EastEnders actress Maisie Smith and The Great British Bake Off star John Whaite.
The BBC Children In Need Choir also performed Somewhere Only We Know by Keane.
Before the show, DJ Scott Mills raised more than £1m through a gruelling treadmill challenge.
The Radio 2 presenter walked, jogged and ran for 24 hours – even recreating his infamous Strictly Come Dancing “crab dance”.
Other fundraising events to broadcasted ahead of Friday’s show included Matt Baker’s Rickshaw Relay, along with a team of five young people, all of whom have been supported by Children in Need-funded projects.
DIY SOS built a brand-new home for Leeds-based Children in Need-funded project Getaway Girls, which saw Nick Knowles and his team work alongside Radio 2 presenters and a group of volunteers.