The final fundraising total for last year’s BBC Children in Need appeal was up £3m on the previous year, new figures show.
The charity said the final total for the 2020 appeal, which was broadcast in November, had reached £57m compared with £54m in the previous year.
The on-the-night total for the coronavirus-affected 2020 appeal was £37m – almost £11m down on the previous year’s total at the same stage – but funds donated since then had boosted the total past the 2019 figure.
Highlights of the 2020 appeal including a 24-hour PE challenge by the fitness guru Joe Wicks, which raised £2.5m; The One Show’s at-home Rickshaw Challenge, which raised £6m; and Countryfile’s 2020 calendar and ramble special, which raised £5.6m.
The highest final total raised by BBC Children in Need to date was £61m in 2016.
The charity said that during the pandemic, it had awarded 2,700 grants, valued at £73m, to local charities and youth-supporting projects.
Simon Antrobus, chief executive of BBC Children in Need, said: “After a year of immense challenge and uncertainty for children and young people facing disadvantage, this is a testament to the kindness and generosity of the Great British public that over the course of the pandemic we have delivered £73m to help children and young people navigate through the challenges of Covid-19, providing a lifeline when it was needed most.
“Our incredible supporters have shown once again that together, we can change young lives, and that we will always be here for the children and young people across the UK that need us.”