Children In Need gets £6m boost
BBC Radio 2 listeners have already donated more than £6 million for this year's Children In Need appeal, the broadcaster said as the annual TV extravaganza got under way.
The broadcaster said it had received £6,186,178 through a series of events before Friday evening's broadcast started at 7.30pm.
These included a PopMaster quiz night hosted by Ken Bruce in Salford, a star-studded Children In Need gala lunch hosted by Sir Terry Wogan, and a gala performance of the hit West End musical Matilda.
The Chris Evans Breakfast Show carried out live auctions across the week with offers such as a Go Mad in Monaco trip and a Festive Foodie Package .
Scottish businessman Sir Tom Hunter donated £1 million to the show's funds while Radio 2 offered listeners the chance to become DJs for the day by pledging money to play records on the BBC Children In Need Jukebox.
DJ Chris Evans said: "We are all blown away by the amazing generosity of our listeners. Whether it was £2.50 for a go at our text competition or £25,000 and more for one of our bigger auction prizes they just kept on giving.
"And as for our Tartan Knight Sir Tom Hunter and his family's £1 million donation - the fact we had to literally beg him to come on the air so we could say thanks tells one more about the nature of his giving than any words ever could."
Bob Shennan, controller of Radio 2, 6 Music and the Asian Network, and director of BBC Music, said: "Our listeners have been extremely generous this year and have raised an absolutely amazing amount of money.
"I'd also like to thank Sir Tom Hunter for his incredible donation. Monies raised will go towards making a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged children all across the UK."
The six-and-a-half hour broadcast is hosted by BBC presenters Sir Terry Wogan, Tess Daly, Nick Grimshaw, Fearne Cotton and Rochelle Humes from pop group The Saturdays.
The annual charity event marks the return of Sir Bruce Forsyth to the Strictly Come Dancing contest which will seek to find a young ballroom champion.
The evening will also feature performances from celebrity guests, including Pop group S Club 7, who are set to perform for the first time since 2003 on the show.
There will also be a new cartoon starring Tom and Jerry, made especially for Children In Need.