Belfast Telegraph

What a drag! Jordan gets all dressed up for Children in Need

By Laura Abernethy

It's not often you'd get away with impersonating your school principal, but Children in Need makes almost anything possible.

This Bangor schoolboy dressed as headmistress Elizabeth Huddleson and she even loaned him a dress for the day to raise money for the BBC charity.

Jordan McVeigh (17) was one of thousands of people from across Northern Ireland who took part in pyjama days, bake sales and lots of other fun and games yesterday.

The theme of the event, which has been running for 36 years, was Be a Hero and supporters were asked to dress as their hero to help make a difference to young people.

The Bangor Grammar School pupil donned a dress, heels and blonde wig as part of the school's fundraising day.

He said: "There have been a lot of double takes, from the back where people honestly at first glance think that I am Mrs Huddleson because I'm in one of her favourite dresses."

Jordan and his principal stunned the school when they took to the stage together for the daily assembly yesterday morning.

He added: "We walked in together and there was quite a reaction. Everyone went quiet for a minute and then they realised and the laughter started.

"It's great fun. Everyone got involved which is great."

Some of the sixth form boys also had their legs waxed in front of the whole school and the teachers didn't escape the humiliation with pupils paying to throw wet sponges at them.

One of Northern Ireland's biggest fundraisers was BBC Radio Ulster's Hugo Duncan, who raised more than £31,500 through a daily auction on his show.

The 'wee man from Strabane' took bids on over 100 once-in-a-lifetime items, including afternoon tea with Secretary of State Theresa Villiers at Hillsborough Castle and a year's supply of Tayto crisps.

One person even secured the chance to attend a training session with the Northern Ireland football team and to choose a young person to be a game mascot.

Even politicians got into the spirit with names such as Gregory Campbell, Dolores Kelly, Mairtin O'Muilleoir and Basil McCrea showing off their moves in Stephen Nolan's lip dub video earlier in the week.

A live show hosted by weatherman Barra Best and BBC Newsline presenter Jo Scott at the BBC Blackstaff studios in Belfast last night showcased fundraisers from across the Province.

One of the highlights of the night was when 175 children from Northern Ireland joined more than 2,000 others from across the UK to form a choir to take part in a nationwide live performance of Miley Cyrus' hit 'The Climb'.

The show also featured performances from Dublin band HomeTown and former Westlife star Shane Filan.

Sir Terry Wogan announced on Thursday night that he would not be hosting the main London show of the TV telethon for the first time since it began in 1980.

The 77-year-old is understood to have been suffering from back problems and Dermot O'Leary stepped in to front the two-and-a-half-hour extravaganza.

The show featured performances from One Direction, Ellie Goulding, Dame Helen Mirren and a special Star Wars sketch with characters C3PO and R2-D2.

It also highlighted projects that receive funding from the annual event, including Replay Theatre, a Belfast theatre project for children and young people with profound and multiple-learning difficulties.

The appeal currently funds 197 projects in every county across Northern Ireland, to the value of over £8m.

Last year on the night, the Northern Ireland total was £732,333.

The UK total this year at 10pm last night was £23,069,187

Belfast Telegraph


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