Entertainment & Arts

Children in Need raises £26.8m after six-hour telethon

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Media captionKylie Minogue, Girls Aloud and One Direction were among the stars supporting Children in Need

The BBC's Children in Need appeal has raised nearly £26.8m on the night, beating 2011's total of £26.3m.

Sir Terry Wogan hosted the BBC One event on Friday with Fearne Cotton, Tess Daly and Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw.

Girls Aloud and One Direction performed live, while BBC Newsreaders took part in a Top Gear challenge and Lord Sugar starred in an EastEnders special.

The final total is expected to be higher than the £26,757,446 raised on Friday night once all donations are in.

This year's event is taking place against the backdrop of widespread allegations of child abuse against former BBC presenter Jimmy Savile, and Newsnight's dropped investigation into some of the allegations.

Image caption Zara Phillips' Olympic 3 Day Eventing team dance Gangnam Style in a special video

Children in Need chair Stevie Spring said she "couldn't be more thrilled" by the total raised at the end of "yet another tough year".

She told BBC Breakfast the previous year's total had been "absolutely smashed".

"I just think it's a sign of the whole of the UK getting behind Pudsey, coming out in force," she added.

Speaking at the start of Friday night's show, Sir Terry said: "As you know by now, we are going to be asking you to help us support disadvantaged children all over the UK. You have been amazing so many times before and we humbly hope that we can count on your help once more.

"We know that children are vulnerable. In the news in recent weeks there has been an awful reminder of just how true that can be. We have been supporting... victims all of all kinds of abuse, including sexual abuse, for many years now. We will continue to do so."

The presenter added: "We also support children in a wide range of circumstances, and they all have something in common - they all need your help."

Image caption Sir Terry Wogan was joined by co-host Fearne Cotton - who is expecting her first baby

Last year's event raised £26.3m on the night, which rose to £46m over the year.

Friday night's live show featured performances from Susan Boyle, Leona Lewis and Tim Minchin, while the newly reunited Girls Aloud gave the first TV performance of their official Children in Need single, Something New.

About 20 of Britain's Olympic and Paralympic stars also got in on the action in a special music video.

Tom Daley, Rebecca Adlington, Zara Phillips, Louis Smith and Ellie Simmonds were among those seen dancing to everything from Beyonce's Single Ladies to Gangnam Style.

Meanwhile two of Strictly Come Dancing's celebrity competitors returned for a Children in Need special.

Ann Widdecombe and Russell Grant dusted off their dancing shoes to perform again with partners Anton Du Beke and Flavia Cacace.

Children in Need mascot Pudsey the bear also danced after being partnered with this year's Britain's Got Talent winner and his namesake, Pudsey the dog.

The show also previewed the Doctor Who Christmas special, including a glimpse of the Doctor's new companion in Jenna-Louise Coleman.

Image caption Girls Aloud have reunited after a two-year hiatus to record the Children in Need charity single

DIY: SOS and Bargain Hunt also recorded special Children in Need programmes, while Terry Wogan paid a fund-raising visit to Lee Mack sitcom Not Going Out.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra teamed up with urban artists including Fazer, Angel, Stooshe and Tyler James to produce Wish I Belonged, with proceeds going to the charity.

Other fund-raising events included The One Show's Rickshaw Challenge, Radio 2's Children in Need Jukebox and Saturday night's Strictly Live Wembley Show.

The TV broadcast featured films highlighting some of the work the charity does with children throughout the UK, presented by stars including Fearne Cotton, Robbie Williams, Geri Halliwell and EastEnders actress Nina Wadia.

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