“With everything going on, the need for Pudsey has never been greater and the BBC’s desire to fundraise for Britain’s most vulnerable children and young people with a spectacular night of television that has never been stronger. In these extraordinary times, this year’s BBC Children in Need TV appeal will look a bit different, but just like The Big Night In earlier this year it will deliver all the entertainment and star names the audience expect on these big, inclusive TV fundraising events.” – Peter Davey, Executive Producer BBC Studios
Children in Need has raised well over £1 billion since the first telethon appeal in 1980. The fundraiser began on the radio with a five-minute radio broadcast on Christmas Day in 1927. The first televised appeal was in 1955 and ran until 1979. These were however very different in format to the telethon which Sir Terry Wogan launched in 1980. He first became involved with Children In Need in 1978 when he presented an appeal film.
The famous Pudsey mascot was introduced in 1985, with the most famous version introduced a year later. He was given a make-over once more in 2007.
Made by BBC Studios, the evening has always aimed to bring to viewers a fun night of entertainment and fundraising. This year the Beeb promise that the event will once more be packed full with sketches, performances, appeal films and appearances from some of the nation’s favourite faces.
Left: Pudsey as seen from 1986 and Right: Pudsey as he’s been since 2007.
The night of entertainment will also include a special segment as Children in Need does The One Show hosted by Alex Jones who will be joined by the charity’s Ade Adepitan MBE.
“BBC Children in Need is a very important part of the BBC’s year and I’m so thrilled we’re still able to bring the appeal night to screens for its special 40th anniversary. Whilst understandably the show will look and feel a little different this year, viewers can still expect a night full of entertainment for the whole family whilst raising money for an incredibly important cause.” – Jo Wallace, Acting Controller of Entertainment Commissioning
As well the appeal show and dedicated programming across the BBC, a one-off special, Children in Need: 40 Fabulous Years, will also be broadcast on BBC One. Hosted by Ade Adepitan MBE, the programme will celebrate the previous appeal shows in 40 bite-sized chunks, including the funniest and the greatest moments from the last four decades.
Featuring many faces from across the years, including those who have benefited from the public’s generosity, the programme promises to be a celebration of all things BBC Children in Need.