BBC Children in Need 2007
The BBC's first broadcast appeal for children was a five-minute radio programme on Christmas Day in 1927. It raised £1,143 18s 3d and the proceeds were shared with five prominent children's charities.
The first televised appeal was the 1955 Children's Hour Christmas Appeal, presented by Sooty and Harry Corbett. The Christmas Day Appeals continued on TV and radio right up until 1979, raising a total of £625,836. The presenters included Terry Hall, Eamonn Andrews, Leslie Crowther, Michael Aspel and the rising star of the Radio 2 Breakfast Show – Terry Wogan – who made his debut appearance in 1978.
In 1980 the appeal was broadcast on BBC One in a new telethon format, hosted by Terry with Sue Lawley and Esther Rantzen. The telethon captured the public's imagination to such an extent that the donations increased dramatically and broke the million pound mark for the very first time.
Pudsey made his television debut in 1985 when Terry introduced the new, brown cuddly mascot to the audience. He was designed by Joanna Ball, a BBC graphics designer, who named him after the West Yorkshire town where she was born. He proved very popular and returned as Children in Need's official logo the following year with his design amended to that of a yellow bear with a red spotted bandage.
In the two decades which have followed, countless cuddly bears have been sold to raise money for the charity – just under 100,000 last year alone – while Pudsey himself has received letters, drawings and emails from youngsters all over the UK and been photographed with more celebrities than he can remember.
Apart from a party hat worn in 2004 to celebrate the telethon's silver jubilee, Pudsey has remained very much the same. But a 2007 revamp has given Pudsey a fresh new look and brighter colours in time for the 28th annual BBC Children in Need Appeal.
BBC Children in Need became a registered charity, number 802052, in 1989. The annual telethon continues to be a highlight of the charity's year long campaign – when the whole BBC joins together to support BBC Children in Need on TV, radio and online.
The live show features some of the fundraising activities taking place around the UK as well as unexpected performances from familiar faces.
Terry Wogan remains the telethon's mainstay who has been joined by a variety of stars over the years including Joanna Lumley, Sue Cook, John Craven, Andi Peters, Gaby Roslin, Natasha Kaplinsky and Fearne Cotton.