Press Office
Search the BBC and Web
Search BBC Press Office

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Press Packs

BBC Children in Need 2008

BBC Children in Need history

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 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 format, hosted by Terry with Sue Lawley and Esther Rantzen. The evening of entertainment and fund-raising 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.


Pudsey proved very popular and returned as BBC 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 has been photographed with more celebrities than he can remember.


In 2007 Pudsey received a revamp with a fresh new look, brighter colours and a new spotty bandana. New-look Pudsey is moving around and ready for the digital age.


BBC Children in Need became a registered charity (number 802052) in 1989 and a registered charity in Scotland (number SC039557) in 2008.


The annual TV show 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 show's mainstay but has been joined by a variety of stars over the years including Joanna Lumley, Sue Cook, John Craven, Andi Peters, Gaby Roslin, Natasha Kaplinsky, Fearne Cotton and, new this year, Tess Daley.


In the weeks and months leading up to the show people all over the country will "Do Something Different" to raise much needed money and help disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.



< previous section next section >
Printable version top^

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy