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Friday, November 20, 1998 Published at 21:14 GMT


Stars come out for Children In Need

TV chefs rehearsing for the Full Monty routine

A galaxy of stars is teaming up with the public as the BBC launches its annual Children In Need fundraising marathon.

A glittering start to Children in Need evening
Last year more than £20m was raised thanks in part to sales of the charity single Perfect Day.

[ image: Don't forget the date]
Don't forget the date
This year, the Spice Girls, Boyzone, young opera singer Charlotte Church, Dina Carroll and Jim Davidson are among the celebrities helping to boost the total on the extravaganza hosted by Terry Wogan and Gaby Roslin.

Already, by 2100(GMT) more than £3m had been raised.

Highlights of this year's event include top TV chefs from Ready Steady Cook paying tribute to hit film The Full Monty. Ainsley Harriot, Antony Worrall Thompson and others will perform the strip routine made famous in the movie - how much they take off will depend on the amount pledged by viewers.

[ image: The Spice Girls will be singing Goodbye]
The Spice Girls will be singing Goodbye
The late Frank Sinatra will get a nation-wide tribute when 15 different Groups from around the country join mascot Pudsey in a rendition of My Way.

They will include Michael Ball in Northern Ireland, a Plymouth steel band, Joe and Eddie Grundy from the Archers and Tudhoe Grange Schools Concert band from Newcastle.

As part of the fundraising marathon, one of the BBC's most popular programmes - Changing Room - will be live throughout the day on BBC One.

And experts from the Antiques Roadshow will be offering valuations for minimum £5 donations to the fund.

All round the country ordinary members of the public will be doing their bit by taking part in a range of bizarre activities from sponsored haircuts to sitting in baths of baked beans.

This year's telethon started at 1900 GMT on BBC One and continues through to 0145 when the evening's total will be announced.

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