The on-the-night total for Friday’s BBC Children in Need appeal was more than £2m up on last year’s figure, organisers have announced.
A three-hour live show on BBC reached a total of £39.4m compared with £37m at the same stage last year.
Last year’s figure was more than £10m down on the 2019 on-the-night total as coronavirus restrictions appeared to affect people’s ability to raise funds.
The live show was also shortened to three hours last year.
Fundraising highlights of this year’s BBC Children in Need included a 24-hour drumming marathon by the weather presenter Owain Wyn Evans, which raised £3.6m, the singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s 24-hour dance challenge, which contributed to BBC Radio 2’s overall total of £1.3m, and this year’s Great Rickshaw Relay Challenge, which raised £2.1m.
Simon Antrobus, chief executive of BBC Children in Need, said: “What a truly remarkable evening – we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, but above all, we’ve been inspired by the children and young people who so bravely shared their stories.
“Kindness sits at the heart of all that we do, and tonight the kindness of the UK has shone through and shown the children and young people across the UK that need us most, that we are here for them. Thank you.”