WORKSHOP: Case study - Children in Need breaks own record


The BBC's first appeal took place in 1927 in the form of a five-minute radio broadcast on Christmas Day, and it became a televised show in 1955.

The appeal reached a key turning point in 1980 when it was broadcast as a telethon.

Hosted then, and ever since, by TV personality Terry Wogan, the first appeal raised more than £1m.

In response to its increasing success, BBC Children in Need became a registered charity in 1989. The funds raised are donated to UK charities and community groups that support children living in disadvantaged conditions.

BBC Children in Need currently funds 28 projects across the UK, including a Young Witness Service in Bristol, which supports victims of crime who are called to appear in legal proceedings, and a housing project that will help resettle 30 homeless young people in Huddersfield.

Of course, it would not be possible to talk about the campaign without mentioning Pudsey Bear. Designed as the face of the 1986 appeal, the much-loved emblem is the charity's mascot, official logo and a registered trademark.

Its merchandise generates a significant part of the charity's income.

Aims The appeal aims to raise as much money as possible via the BBC's multimedia channels to help children affected by homelessness, HIV, sexual abuse and drug addiction. To do so the BBC invites celebrities, including stars of its own shows, to perform on the show in special skits.

How it worked The 24th Children in Need appeal started on 17 November with a four-day auction organised by Terry Wogan. This event was followed by a 24-hour music marathon on Radio 2. On the evening of 21 November, the show moved across to BBC1 where Terry Wogan and Gaby Roslin hosted the seven-hour telethon. Eastenders actor Shane Richie also released this year's Children In Need single, I'm Your Man, the sales of which will go to the charity.

The Eastenders cast also acted out a remake of The Wizard Of Oz, while celebrity chefs Ainsley Harriott and Anthony Worrall Thompson performed a Morecambe and Wise kitchen sketch.

There were musical performances from Sting, Phil Collins, Cliff Richard, Atomic Kitten, Mis-teeq, Donny Osmond and Gareth Gates. Stars including the Cheeky Girls and Holly Valance played from different locations nationwide.

BT provided the charity with call centres to handle calls from the public, including the top of the BT Tower in London, where celebrities helped take calls. Altogether, 60 call centres were operating across the UK, and around 200,000 calls were handled.

Results BBC Children in Need raised £15m on the night, the highest amount since the launch of its first appeal. Last year, the appeal raised £13.5m on the night. "What a fantastic evening and what an achievement," said Martina Milburn, chief executive of the charity. "It is hard to believe that we have topped last year's total."

Some 12 million people watched the telethon, a figure that the BBC says goes up every year.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in
RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners

Third Sector Logo

Get our bulletins. Read more articles. Join a growing community of Third Sector professionals

Register now