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Saturday, 17 November, 2001, 05:35 GMT
Children In Need raises millions
Hollyoakes actress Terri Dwyer with Shrek
Celebrities of all shapes and sizes took part in the fun
The BBC's seven-hour Children In Need television fundraiser has so far raised nearly 13m for charity.

A star-studded line up of celebrities kept audiences entertained in the annual BBC One spectacular as pledges and donations kept coming in.

The BBC said a total of 12,895,853 had been raised by the end of the programme, over 600,000 up from the same period last year.

Children In Need
Latest total: 12,895,853
Donations number: 0845 733 2233
Thousands of children across the UK will benefit from the proceeds, which will be built on by further donations.

Children In Need director Martina Milburn she was delighted with the total received.

"It's been a difficult few months for many people and we could not have hoped for a more generous response.

"We would like to say a big thank you to everyone for their support."

Making music

Celebrities joining the fun and festivities, hosted by Gaby Roslin and Terry Wogan, ranged from pop groups to newsreaders and soap stars.

Irish boy band Westlife launched the charity extravaganza at BBC Television Centre in London and then raced off in a private jet to give a second performance.

Jeremy Bowen
Jeremy Bowen joined other BBC news presenters to mimic a Fat Boy Slim video
The group performed a cover version of Gloria Gaynor's Never Can Say Goodbye in London, before flying to Belfast to sing in the city centre.

Cher, Hear'Say, Steps, Atomic Kitten, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Bonnie Tyler and The Corrs added to the array of musicians taking part at venues across the UK.

Cliff Richard was not to be outdone by the newcomers, and performed a selection of his hits which had been voted for by the public.

Anthea Turner, Dale Winton and prankster Jeremy Beadle were among the stars who took part in a celebrity version of TV quiz Fifteen to One.

Actress Claire Sweeney
Actress Claire Sweeney adopts the glamorous role of Judy Garland
BBC weather girls also got into the spirit of the evening with a rendition of Raining Men while members of the BBC news team, including Peter Sissons, Jeremy Bowen and Jennie Bond, happily made fools of themselves with a spoof dance routine.

A group of EastEnders actors even donned make-up and dresses in a Freddie Mercury tribute.

Celebrity chef Ainsley Harriot proved his talents extended beyond the kitchen with a brief song and dance routine, while the Riverdance team also took to the floor.

Digital donations

Hundreds of events took place simultaneously at venues in Belfast, Glasgow, Doncaster, Leicester, Cardiff and Portsmouth, with 40,000 expected to have attended the outdoor shows.

Last year's Children In Need raised around 12m on the night, reaching more than 20m in total.

SClub 7
S Club 7 launched the telephone donation line
Since the event was first televised, in 1980, 273m has been raised.

S Club 7 launched this year's telephone donation line on Wednesday but pledges can also be made online and for the first time through television sets for digital cable and digital satellite viewers.

To make a donation to Children In Need, call 0845 733 2233.

The BBC's David Sillito
"Jeremy Bowen led a posse of newsreaders into new realms of embarassment"
Director of Children in Need Martina Milburn
"We weren't really expecting to raise so much"
See also:

18 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Children in Need raises 12m
17 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Children in Need's Mr Fixit
12 Nov 01 | Music
Westlife scoop ninth number one
18 Nov 00 | Scotland
Scotland helps Children in Need
27 Nov 99 | Entertainment
TV appeal hits record total
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