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10 reasons Rylan's Great Ka-RY-oke Challenge was so memorable

13 November 2019

Radio 2's very own Rylan Clark-Neal put his karaoke skills to the test during a 24 hour singalong extravaganza to raise money for BBC Children in Need 2019.

Rylan belted out over 200 karaoke classics, from 9.15am on Tuesday 12 November right through to 9.15am on Wednesday 13 November, raising over a million pounds for Children in Need in the process.

Throughout, Rylan was joined by a whole host of celebrity supporters to spur him on, and had some epic surprises in store for him along the way. We've taken a look back at some of the many highlights from over 24 hours of karaoke fun.

1. The Radio 2 family showing off their karaoke talents

If someone from the Radio 2 family needs a helping hand, you know the rest of the group are going to rally around.

Zoe's entire Breakfast Show team packed themselves onto the stage for a group reunion of 'Valerie' by Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson at the start of proceedings on Tuesday.

They returned on Wednesday morning, forming their own Spice Girls tribute band to mark the last two hours of the challenge.

Meanwhile, Ken Bruce and Rylan teamed up for ‘It Takes Two’ by Marvin Gaye and Kim Watson. “I’ll be Kim,” said Ken!

And in a spectacular mid-afternoon surprise, Jeremy Vine summoned his inner Elvis for a rendition of 'Always On My Mind'. “I was so in the moment," Jeremy said after. "I don’t know what we’re doing, I don’t know where we are.”

And it's not karaoke without a Grease cover! Sara Cox channeled her inner Sandy for her duet with Rylan on Tuesday evening.

And who knew that a duet of Nelly and Kelly Rowland's 'Dilemma' from Rylan and Early Breakfast host Vanessa Feltz would be the perfect way to start the day? Not us!

2. Claudia Winkleman joining Rylan for a unique take on a Tina Turner classic

We've all been there. You step up to karaoke and don't really know the song. It's the stuff of nightmares. But imagine you're not just doing it in front of a handful of friends but instead an entire watching and listening audience in the millions.

That's exactly what happened to Rylan and Claudia Winkleman when the Karaoke Wheel of Fortune landed on Nutbush City Limits by Ike and Tina Turner. You can't say they didn't give it their best shot though!

3. Rylan singing with his heroes

They say you shouldn't meet your heroes, but how about performing with them?

Throughout the 24 hours, Rylan got to do just that, singing with some of his personal faves, including Gabrielle, Carol Decker and ABBA (well, ABBA tribute band Bjorn Again, at least). Rylan even got to perform his favourite karaoke song ('Fill Me In') with Craig David himself!

How did that make Rylan feel? Like a competition winner apparently: "I feel like I’ve won a raffle".

4. Supergroup alert!

Rylan wasn't just rubbing shoulders with his favourite singers, he was joining bands too! Performing with the likes of S Club and Reef, Rylan exclaimed: "This is the best day ever!"

He even formed a hair metal band with Radio 1's Scott Mills and Chris Stark (something we definitely didn't see coming!)

5. When the emotion takes over

Maybe it was the fatigue sinking in, or the excitement of it all, but we're pretty sure it was musical theatre star Cassidy Janson's incredible rendition of 'You've Got A Friend' that was to thank for Rylan being close to tears as they teamed up during Jeremy Vine's show.

What a touching moment.

Rylan was also overwhelmed with emotion when he finally got to meet one of his utmost "icons", internet personality Charity Shop Sue. Surprised by the Bulwell charity shop worker's cameo, Rylan dropped to his knees, crawled for an embrace and exclaimed: "I can't believe you're real!"

6. Surprise reunions galore

The Great Ka-RY-oke Challenge served up many big reunion moments. Like when Rylan was reunited with Trisha Goddard.

The last time the pair saw each other they were in the Celebrity Big Brother House - and their reunion didn't disappoint. Trisha didn't leave any stone of Rylan's personal life unturned - we even found out about the bedding his husband gave him for their latest anniversary (linen, you see). After the chit-chat, they broke into a startling movie duet with Aladdin soundtrack song 'A Whole New World'.

Rylan also got a trip down memory lane when he was reunited with his X Factor mentor Nicole Scherzinger, who famously brought Rylan to tears back in 2012 when she told him that he had made it to the live finals.

He may not have been the winner that year, but Rylan and Nicole have remained close, with the former Pussycat Dolls star showing her support for Rylan and surprising him with her appearance. From his reaction, you can tell he had no clue.

On Wednesday morning, Rylan was joined for the last stretch of the challenge by his Strictly pals AJ Pritchard and Saffron Barker for a Phil Collins singalong (although not everyone was so sure about the words).

Other pals of Rylan's to help him along the way included fellow Big Brother host Emma Willis and Steps' Claire Richards, who he even refers to as his "sister".

7. That feeling when your bosses walk in

We've all had awkward moments involving our bosses. Maybe they caught you doing a bit of online shopping when you should have been working, or you've bumped into each other while out in public.

But your bosses witnessing you doing Right Said Fred's I'm Too Sexy? That really takes some beating! "I love how my big bosses have walked in while I'm doing this song," Rylan uttered mid-song, adding: "Sorry mum."

8. Some late-night glam

Just when Rylan needed a late night pick-me-up, along came Hannah Grace and the Sink The Pink crew to add some much needed sparkle to the challenge. Sass, sequins, feather-boas - they brought it all along with a big smile to Rylan's face, with Hannah delivering her stunning cover of Fatboy Slim's 'Praise You'.

RuPaul's Drag Race UK judge and currently Strictly contestant Michelle Visage also joined Rylan, throwing some shapes and vogue-ing.

9. Getting Rickrolled by Rick Astley himself

Almost all of us have fallen victim to one of the greatest online hoaxes of all-time, Rickrolling - when someone sends you an unknown link and you end up on the YouTube page of Rick Astley's classic hit 'Never Gonna Give You Up'. Well, during his Karaoke Challenge, Rylan got to experience the real thing.

And such was the sheer strength of Astley's surprisingly gravelly growl that Rylan was left speechless!

10. A huge amount of money raised for charity!

The total at the end of the 24 hour challenge was a whopping £845,239 (which has since risen to over a million pounds), all raised for BBC Children in Need, who will use the money to change the lives of children and young people across the UK.

But don't forget - there's still time to donate to Children in Need and show your support for Rylan's triumph!

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