The on-the-night total for Friday’s BBC Children in Need appeal was £10m down on 2019 as coronavirus restrictions appear to have affected people’s ability to raise funds.
A shortened three-hour show on BBC One on Friday night reached a total of £37m in donations compared with £47.9m at the same stage last year.
Highlights of this year’s event included more than £2.1m raised through Joe Wicks’ 24-hour non-stop PE challenge and more than £4.7m raised via The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge, in which presenter Matt Baker and his team of young people clocked up 830 virtual miles between them on static rickshaws at their homes.
This year’s figure appears to have been affected by the TV show’s shorter duration, as well as a reduced capacity for fundraising events because of the pandemic.
Simon Antrobus, chief executive of BBC Children in Need, said the event had featured an “abundance of kindness”.
He said: “We know that children and young people across the UK need our support now more than ever because, sadly, the pandemic has made life even harder for those who were already vulnerable or at risk, but this remarkable total really will go on to help make a difference.
“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 most.”