Children in Need 2015: What time and when is it on? Everything you need to … –

Who is Pudsey Bear?

BBC Children in Need’s cuddly mascot is 30 years old this November. Pudsey Bear was created by BBC designer Joanna Lane in 1985, and proved immediately popular – the bear has since appeared on a video-game, a __ and postage stamp. Lane named the bear after her home town of Pudsey, Yorkshire, where her grandfather was mayor.

Pudsey’s design has changed several times over the years. His bandana, now white with multicoloured spots, was originally red with black triangles. In 2009, Pudsey was joined by a brown, female bear called Blush, and in 2015 the BBC announced he was to be redesigned as “Pudsey Rabbit” – a statement later revealed to be an April Fools’ Day hoax.

Terry Wogan and Pudsey BearCuddly: Pudsey Bear with Terry Wogan

Who is performing in Friday’s show?

Hosted by Sir Terry Wogan, the appeal show has a whole host of guest appearances, including live music from Rod Stewart, Selena Gomez and Ellie Goulding – who will be performing her as-yet unreleased single, Army.

Ellie Goulding performs in London, 2014Ellie Goulding will perform her new single, Army, for Children in Need

TV Burp’s Harry Hill will offer his comic history of television, while Sir Alan Sugar – a natural replacement for Darth Vader – will share the screen with Warwick Davis in a new Star Wars sketch, appearing alongside R2D2 and C-3PO.

Shane Richie is back as the host of the BBC2 appeal show, broadasting from Albert Square, where the cast of EastEnders will be having a right old knees up; Peter Andre will serenade the Old Vic’s regulars with Frank Sinatra’s Come Fly With Me.

Meanwhile, Bruce Forsyth returns to Strictly Come Dancing with Tess Daly, in a one-off special, featuring four of the stars from BBC One’s Call the Midwife: Jenny Agutter, Jack Ashton, Laura Main and Stephen McGann.

The West End casts of Beautiful, Kinky Boots and Bend it Like Beckham will be providing a dash of musical glamour, while Westlife’s Shane Filan and former Girls Aloud’s chanteuse Nadine Coyle will sing their duet, I Could Be, for the first time on television.

Elsewhere, BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills will attempt to conquer his fear of heights by abseiling down the 400-foot Blackpool Tower.

Singer Jess Glynne’s track Take Me Home has been chosen as the official single for this year’s BBC Children In Need. The single is available to download from iTunes, Spotify and Deezer and available to buy in CD form from November 13th at HMV, Asda, Tesco, Amazon and independent retailers across the UK.

Katie Brayben in Beautiful: The Carole King musicalKatie Brayben stars in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical  Photo: Alastair Muir

Speaking of her new single, Jess said: “This is a song about the need to have someone who cares when you are at your most vulnerable. It’s an emotional song for me and I have to admit it brings me to tears when I sing it live, likewise when I made the video. I hope it makes people realise that they should reach out to others at a time of need and I’m so excited for it to be part of BBC Children In Need. It’s such a special cause.”

Glynne is the latest in a line of performers including Ellie Goulding who released How Long Will I Love You in 2013, and Girls Aloud who supported the campaign with their comeback single Something New in 2012.

Last year, Gareth Malone’s All Star Choir secured the Charity a top spot in the charts with their rendition of Avicii’s Wake Me Up.

When and how can I donate?

It’s already possible to donate by text message. Donors can text “PADDLE” to 70701 to give £1, “DONATE” to 70705 to give £5, or “DONATE” to 70710 for £10. Text messages cost £1, plus the standard network message rate. These lines remain upon until January 31, so there’s plenty of time to donate after the show.

To donate by post, send a cheque, postal order or CAF voucher (but not cash) to “BBC Children in Need Appeal, PO Box 648, Salford, M5 0LB”. Alternatively, you can donate online by card or Paypal through the Children in Need website.

Anyone who wants to get a little more involved can order or download a fundraising pack from the Children in Need website, and start their own charity campaign.

How much money has been raised in the past?

The BBC first broadcast a charity in 1927, in the form of a five-minute radio broadcast on Christmas Day. The appeal raised about £1,143, (about £27,150 in today’s money), and was donated to four children’s charities. In 2013, the appeal raised £49,600,000 – the highest amount of any year to date.

The first televised appeal, fronted by Sooty and Harry Corbett (below), took place in 1955 and was called the Children’s Hour Christmas Appeal.

The Christmas Day Appeals continued on TV and radio until 1979. During that time a total of £625,836 was raised.

Sir Terry Wogan and a selection of Pudsey bearsSir Terry Wogan and a selection of Pudsey bears

Sir Terry Wogan first appeared during this five-minute appeal in 1978, and again in 1979. The avuncular Irishman is now the face of the annual appeal.