Children in Need raises £47.9m on the night - £3m down on last year

The fundraising event was unable to match the record on-the-night total of £50.6m raised last year

Children in Need presenters reveal the total
Children in Need presenters reveal the total

The on-the-night fundraised total from Friday’s BBC Children in Need telethon was down by almost £3m from last year’s record total, figures show.

A statement from the charity said the appeal raised almost £47.9m by the close of the event in the early hours of Saturday morning, down from the record high of £50.6m raised by the same time in 2018.

Despite last year’s on-the-night total being a record high, the final total, which was announced in July, was down by more than £2m on the previous year to £58m.

The highest final total is the £61m raised in 2016.

Despite the fall in recent figures, Children in Need’s totals have held up better than some other major television events over the past couple of years.

Comic Relief's total fell from a record £108.4m in 2011 to £76m in 2017.

Its sister event, Sport Relief, raised £38.2m on the night of its appeal last year, £17m down on the same point two years ago.

Simon Antrobus, chief executive of BBC Children in Need, said earlier this month that he was "deeply saddened" that the charity’s album, Got It Covered, which features a range of critically acclaimed actors performing cover versions of their favourite songs, had been removed from the official album chart, where it was on course to be the best-selling album.

He said at the time that the decision could mean it raised less money.

This year’s Children in Need event, which raises funds to support disadvantaged children and young people in UK communities, included actors from the cast of EastEnders taking part in a Strictly Come Dancing competition, members of the England men’s football team surprising children from the England Amputee Football Association, a special new version of the children’s TV classic Crackerjack and the YouTuber Colin Furze being challenged by Star Wars actors Daisy Ridley and John Boyega to create a working landspeeder from the film series.

Antrobus said in a statement about the on-the-night total: "Saying ‘thank you’ seems insufficient, but I hope everyone who supported this evening accepts my heartfelt thanks for the millions of acts of kindness that have been shown this evening. Every single text sent, pound in a collection tin or phone call made this evening has led to this.

"The money raised tonight really will go on to make a lasting, positive impact on young lives, changing young people’s futures and giving hope when they need it the most."

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