Wogan addresses BBC's Savile crisis on 'Children in Need' as appeal beats 2011 total

 

The BBC's Children in Need appeal raised more than £26 million during this year's live television show, beating the 2011 total.

Donors pledged £26,757,446 to the charity extravaganza over the course of the seven-hour live entertainment show, but the amount is set to rise in the coming weeks.

The embattled corporation, which is dealing with the fallout of the Jimmy Savile sex scandal and botched Newsnight investigation, raised £26.3 million during the 2011 live show, with the total growing to over £46.9 million after the big night.

This year's event was kicked off from London's BBC Television Centre by Sir Terry Wogan, who was joined by co-hosts Tess Daly and Fearne Cotton.

TV and musical favourites taking to the stage to get the party started included One Direction, with a performance of While We're Young.

Girls Aloud also made their long-awaited comeback after three years apart, taking to the stage in matching orange off-the-shoulder tulip dresses.

The group performed the official BBC Children in Need AA side single, Something New, and Beautiful Because You Love Me, for the first time on television.

British stars Leona Lewis and Ellie Goulding also took part in the show while Australian songstress Kylie Minogue performed a medley of her hits.

Sir Terry addressed the current crisis enveloping the BBC in a video segment he introduced.

The presenter said: "Children should be able to trust adults, that should be a given; our role is to protect them.

"Sadly, as we know, there are times when adults abuse that trust and in the film we're about to show you, three workers from Children in Need-funded projects who help and support support children and victims of sexual abuse tell us the dreadful effect that abuse has had on young lives, but how, with your help, we can make a difference."

The segment included the statistics that more than one in three sexually abused children do not tell anyone else about it.

Last month, Sir Roger Jones, former BBC governor and chairman of Children in Need, said that Savile had been banned from the Children in Need appeal.

Although he had "no evidence" that Savile was up to anything, he said he behaved strangely, adding: "I think we all recognised he was a pretty creepy sort of character."

Highlights of the 33rd fundraiser also included an exclusive Doctor Who "prequel" to its Christmas special, featuring the first glimpse of the Doctor with his new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman.

There was also a Strictly Come Dancing special with two of the previous most memorable contestants, Ann Widdecombe and Russell Grant, while Lord Sugar appeared in a special edition of EastEnders.

The programme kicked off with The One Show BBC Children in Need Special, in which the youngsters involved were welcomed back from a rickshaw challenge.

The team raised more than £1.1 million for the appeal after they cycled from Llandudno to London on a rickshaw, covering 411 miles over eight days.

Former chorister Aled Jones led the The Choir, which united 2,500 children across the UK in a performance of Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw took over presenting duties from pregnant Cotton later in the show, which saw performances from Paloma Faith, Stooshe and Charlotte Church.

David Ramsden, chief executive of BBC Children in Need said: "Tonight's total is phenomenal.

"It is amazing that people across the UK have once again come together to raise such a massive sum.

"Thank you so much for helping to change thousands of young lives across the UK"

Sir Terry, the Children in Need life president, added: "Thank you for a wonderful total and all you have done for children in need."

Speaking about the amount raised, chair of Children In Need Stevie Spring told BBC Breakfast: "I'm surprised and absolutely thrilled, I couldn't be more thrilled.

"Last year we had yet another tough year and we pulled out all the stops and we're up 40 per cent, over 40 per cent this time last year.

"And last night we absolutely smashed that total again. I think it was absolutely amazing. And I just think it's a sign of the whole of the UK getting behind Pudsey, coming out in force.

"I couldn't be more thrilled."

PA

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