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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 November 2006, 10:23 GMT
Children in Need total tops 18m
Dermot Murnaghan with Kate Silverton
Newsreaders spoofed James Bond as part of the show

The BBC's Children in Need telethon has raised more than 18m - beating the amount raised on the night last year by more than 1m.

The live seven-hour extravaganza kicked off with a performance from boy band McFly.

Viewers also saw BBC newsreaders pose as James Bond and other characters in a tribute to the 007 films.

The first total of the night was unveiled as more than 3m and through the night it rose to 18.3m.

Presenters Terry Wogan, Fearne Cotton and Natasha Kaplinsky introduced a host of stars trying to beat last year's overall total of 33.2m.

The final figure of how much has been pledged this year will not be known for some time.

Terry Wogan and Natasha Kaplinsky
Terry Wogan and Natasha Kaplinsky host the annual event

In the show Connie Fisher, who won BBC One's How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, performed a song from the West End production of The Sound of Music.

Husband and wife Peter Andre and Jordan, also known as Katie Price, performed The Best Things In Life Are Free.

Emma Bunton gave a rendition of the official BBC Children In Need single, Downtown, while the cast of soap Hollyoaks performed a version of the song Unbelievable.

Ex-Coronation Street heartthrob Richard Fleeshman also performed a version of Mr Bojangles.

An array of fundraising stunts and events were also held across the UK.

In London a live concert, hosted by BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles, featured Jamiroquai, All Saints, McFly, Keane and Girls Aloud.

How to give:
Call 0845 733 2233

The evening also saw the new voice of the BT speaking clock revealed after a competition raising 200,000 for the cause.

Sara Mendes da Costa, 40, from Brighton and Hove, was selected from more than 18,000 entrants and will become the fourth voice of the speaking clock since it was established in 1936.

The Children in Need total was boosted by a record amount of cash pledged by BBC Radio 2 listeners.

They raised 2,174,527 - more than 1m above last year's total of 1,066,000.

Singing star Michael Ball made the BBC Radio 2 announcement as he presented a cheque to Sir Terry to loud cheers.

'Delighted'

A further 1m towards the total came in a single donation from the wealthy philanthropist, Sir Tom Hunter.

David Ramsden, acting chief executive of BBC Children in Need, said: "We are absolutely delighted that people across the UK have been more generous than ever before and we've raised record amounts.

"Every penny will be used to make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK."

The night also saw top-ranking apprentices from the BBC show Celebrity Scissorhands pampering the performing stars.

From 12 November, viewers had been voting for their favourite celebrity cutter, with at least 25p from every vote going to Children in Need.

These things lose all credibility when the 'celebrities' involved only do so to get publicity
Darren, Cheltenham

In Wales, Ronan Keating, Jamelia and The Feeling appeared at Party for Pudsey in Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay.

In Scotland, the show was broadcast from the corporation's Glasgow base at Queen Margaret Drive.

However, activities took place at other centres including a live outside broadcast at the Aberdeen studios in Beechgrove Terrace.

And in Northern Ireland cameras went out and about in Omagh, Warrenpoint, Balleek, Armagh and Derry, as well as the main event in Belfast.

Long history

The Children in Need became a registered charity in 1989 with the aim of helping to change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

But the first broadcast appeal for children took place in 1927, in the form of a five-minute radio broadcast on Christmas Day.

The biggest total to date was 34,200,000 in 2004.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Some of this year's Children in Need highlights



SEE ALSO
Children in Need concert go-ahead
17 Nov 06 |  North West Wales
Bird and Clarke host Pudsey night
17 Nov 06 |  Scotland
Excitement builds for Pudsey push
17 Nov 06 |  Northern Ireland

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