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Children In Need appeal raises £18m

Recently re-formed Take That stole the show at this year's Children in Need telethon, as the annual appeal raised more than £18 million for charity.

The band reprised their classic hit Never Forget live for the first time since Robbie Williams rejoined the group during their stellar performance at the BBC's star-studded charity night.

As the seven-hour appeal came to a close at 2am on Saturday, generous viewers had donated £18,098,199 to the cause, which supports children and young people across the UK.

Host Sir Terry Wogan said: "The generosity of the Great British public is just staggering and we are so grateful for all your donations. We couldn't help the disadvantaged children and young people of this country without your help, so please give what you can and help change a young life for the better. Thank you."

X Factor judge Cheryl Cole opened the live telethon with an energetic performance to get the annual appeal under way. The Geordie star performed her single Promise This wearing a lacy red cape and leotard, and described Children in Need as one of her "favourite events".

The singer was one of a host of celebrities who pulled together to back the charity night. Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button pitted their skills against each other round the go-kart track with the help of two teams of young carers. And Australian pop princess Kylie Minogue performed her single Better Than Today, shimmering in a silver fringe mini-dress, while Doctor Who stars Matt Smith and Karen Gillan treated two youngsters to a day in the Tardis.

The casts of rival soaps EastEnders and Coronation Street also joined forces for the first time in aid of Children in Need. In a special one-off sketch, the residents of Walford and Weatherfield shared an exchange as the two towns were twinned for the evening.

Welsh crooner Sir Tom Jones and Britain's Got Talent runner-up Susan Boyle also took to the stage as part of the show, screened on BBC One.

However, it was Take That who stole the show, emerging on stage to perform their new single, The Flood, before going straight into Never Forget, which was a number one hit in 1995. Williams looked relaxed and happy to have returned to the line-up, which brought the studio audience to its feet at the peak of the telethon.

Organisers are hoping to beat last year's record-breaking total of £39 million.

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