The BBC telethon Children in Need raised more than £17.2m during the fund-raising campaign on BBC One.
Madonna encouraged Terry Wogan into a few dance moves
The total is slightly higher than last year and is expected to grow to more than £30m when all donations are in.
Presenter Terry Wogan said: "Thank you for all your donations and everything you have done for Children in Need."
The telethon featured performances by Madonna, Rod Stewart, Girls Aloud and Liberty X and an appearance by Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The organisers estimate that more than a quarter of a million people made donations.
Liberty X opened the seven-hour programme with the official BBC Children in Need single, A Night to Remember.
Former members of Take That, including Mark Owen and Gary Barlow, were among the celebrities manning the telethon phones.
A special Doctor Who scene featuring new Doctor David Tennant and Billie Piper was shown, while a host of acts including Status Quo and Girls Aloud performed at a concert at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
Intelligence service MI6 also entered into the spirit of the evening, putting up for auction the only copy of a letter, key to its foundation.
The facsimile, sent in August 1909 by the Chief of Naval Intelligence Alexander Bethell, invited Commander Mansfield Cumming to take up an unspecified proposal.
Status Quo performed live at Brize Norton
The original letter hangs in the office of the service's director general.
Bids on the internet auction site ebay have already topped £500.
Coverage of the 26th Children In Need marathon was co-hosted by newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky and Top of the Pops presenter Fearne Cotton.
Kaplinsky joined other BBC newsreaders who annually humiliate themselves in the name of charity.
Fiona Bruce, Andrew Marr, Darren Jordan, Michael Buerk and Bill Turnball did their own version of rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.
Every penny raised goes directly to children and young people in need across the UK.
As usual a number of events took place around the country, including the Sugababes performing live at a concert in Wrexham.