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BBC Children in Need’s 2023 Appeal raises £33.5million

BBC Children in Need thanks the public for their remarkable support in raising £33,513,325 to help make a difference to the lives of children and young people in communities across the UK when it is needed most

BBC Children in Need’s 2023 Appeal saw the UK public once again going above and beyond to support children and young people across the UK to thrive and be the best they can be, raising an incredible £33.5million during the charity’s 43rd Appeal show.

Live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 7.00pm on Friday, the charity’s 2023 Appeal show marked the crescendo of this year’s fundraising activities for BBC Children in Need. Presented by Ade Adepitan MBE, Mel Giedroyc, Jason Manford, Chris Ramsey, Lenny Rush and Alex Scott MBE from MediaCity UK, Salford, the 2023 show featured a sparkling array of famous faces to entertain the nation, whilst shining a light on the challenges faced by children and young people across the UK, and the urgent need for support.

The show opened with a very special message from HRH, the Princess of Wales, who delivered a message, saying: “Tonight is about helping to support, champion and empower all children to be the very best they can be, which is crucial for their future health and happiness.

“Our relationships, surroundings and experiences during our earliest years lay the foundations that shape the rest of our lives.”

In a world-exclusive, viewers were treated to a brand new, never before seen Doctor Who scene featuring David Tennant sharing an encounter with a mysterious new character, played by actor and comedian Mawaan Rizwan. Viewers were also given a glimpse into the creation of the scene, from newly announced companion series Doctor Who: Unleashed, providing an exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peek for BBC Children in Need.  Both the exclusive scene, and an extended look behind the making of it, can be found in the Whoniverse on BBC iPlayer.

Throughout the evening, audiences were treated to a stunning array of performances including singer songwriter JERUB performing ‘There ‘Til The End’, the UK’s Junior Eurovision act STAND UNIQU3 singing their anthemic 2023 entry ‘Back to Life’, and an electric performance from Leigh-Anne who brought the stage to life with her TV debut of ‘My Love’.

Another standout moment in the show saw EastEnders’ Ian and Cindy Beale (Adam Woodyatt and Michelle Collins) race against Birds of a Feather’s Dorien and Tracey (Lesley Joseph and Linda Robson) and Waterloo Road’s Noel and Samia (Liam Scholes and Priyasasha Kumari) in a Race Across Yorkshire. On their epic mission the three teams bumped into some famous Yorkshire faces including Emmerdale’s Kim Tate, Marlon Dingle and Cain Dingle, Bradford’s Gareth Gates, Wakefield’s Jane McDonald and Paul Chuckle.

To support the 2023 Appeal, BBC Children in Need teamed up with The One Show, Morning Live and BBC Radio 2 for something extra special – The Challenge Squad. Made up of four inspirational young people who have benefitted from BBC Children in Need funding, the Challenge Squad were championed by Jermaine Jenas, Alex Jones, Roman Kemp and Vernon Kay to undertake incredible personal challenges to help make a difference to young lives. With the 2023 Appeal show as the backdrop, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when two of the challenges reached a crescendo live on air, with 14-year old Erin performing a stunning renditon of ‘Hallelujah’ with Alexandra Burke, accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and 16-year old Brianna performing a beautiful dance to ‘Tomorrow’ alongside Strictly star, Nadiya Bychkova. It was announced live on the show that the Squad have so far raised a whopping £2,844,182 – every pound donated or raised in support of Challenge Yourself and the Challenge Squad was matched pound for pound (up to the value of £1.5M) by Postcode Education Trust, supported through People’s Postcode Lottery.

Elsewhere in the show, a plethora of puppets battled out for the title of Puppet MasterChef champion. The special sketch starred Basil Brush, Zippy and George from Rainbow, Hacker T Dog, Dodge and Tinky Winky and saw the puppets wreak havoc upon the MasterChef kitchen in the name of impressing Gregg Wallace and John Torode with their culinary skills. Environmental Health officers shut down proceedings before a puppet could be named victorious after animals – Basil Brush, Hacker T Dog, Dodge and George –  were spotted in the MasterChef kitchen.


Other highlights of the evening included:

  • A stunning performance from children and young people with the BBC Children in Need choir singing a beautiful cover of ‘You Raise Me Up’.
  • A Graham Norton Red Chair special, which saw Perry Fenwick, Conor Gallagher, Matt Goss, Karen Hauer, Rosie Ramsey and Dr Ranj having their fate decided by a group of children who took control of the notorious lever!
  • In a fitting tribute to the charity’s Life-President, the show took a moment to present the Sir Terry Wogan Young Fundraiser of the Year Award, supported by BBC Radio 2 and Blue Peter. The accolade recognises the charity’s fundraisers, of whom Sir Terry was a huge champion, and this year was awarded to 13 year-old Joel by Michael Ball.
  • To celebrate Disney’s 100th anniversary, viewers were treated to a special performance of the title track from the new animation Wish sung by West-End musical star Merryl Ansah, in a British TV debut.
  • A spectacular performance from Stock Aitken Waterman’s I Should Be So Lucky musical, complete with epic cameos from Mel Giedroyc and Jason Manford.
  • Tommy Fury, Zara McDermott, Molly Rainford, Joe Tasker and Andy Whyment, risking it all in a game of Sing or Slime.

The real stars of the night however have been the children and young people who shared their stories and brought to life how money raised this evening will go on to make a difference to children and young people in urgent need of support across the UK.

Commenting on the evening, Simon Antrobus, Chief Executive at BBC Children in Need, said:The overwhelming kindness and generosity shown this evening – especially when things are incredibly hard for so many – is remarkable. I want to thank the UK for once again showing children and young people that we are here for them. To each and every person that gave so generously this evening, thank you.”

This evening’s night of entertainment marked the crescendo of this year’s Appeal which has seen a plethora of fundraising feats and inspiring programming, including:

  • The DIY SOS team, with the help of Radio 2, completed a special build for BBC Children in Need funded project, Treetops Hospice, raising £380,769 along the way.
  • The 2023 Ramble special, which saw Countryfile presenters and inspirational children and young people rambling in breath-taking locations across the UK, contributing to Countryfile’s incredible 2023 fundraising total of £2,091,221.
  • Vernon Kay undertaking his ULTRA UltraMarathon which led to a truly phenomenal fundraising total of £5,067,847 for BBC Radio 2, which included BBC Radio 2’s Gala performance of Back to the Future: The Musical at London’s Adelphi Theatre hosted by Gary Davies.
  • Game On! For BBC Children in Need – a brand new ground-breaking  show for BBC Three and BBC iPlayer presented by Vick Hope and Steffan Powell which united gamers across the UK to raise funds and awareness.
  • The charity launched a brand new partnership with TikTok in support of the campaign which saw the platform launch six limited edition special Pudsey gifts. For every Pudsey Gift sent, TikTok made a donation to BBC Children in Need, raising £513,000. In addition the charity ran The Pudsey Games in partnership with Connect Management in a TikTok livestream which gained over 5M likes.
  • Ambassador Joe Wicks MBE bringing fitness and fundraising together for The Pudsey Bearpees Challenge which encouraged schools, fundraisers and communities up and down the country to undertake 1,000 Bearpees over the course of a month in the run up to the charity’s 2023 Appeal Show.
  • A dedicated See Hear special to “get the nation signing” which saw Pudsey Bear learn British Sign Language for the first time.
  • BBC Stations across the Nations & Regions fundraising to help make an impact on young lives in communities across the UK.

BBC Children in Need was commissioned by Kalpna Patel-Knight, Head of Entertainment Commissioning. The Senior Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Jo Wallace. Executive Producers are Peter Davey and Andrew Cartmell and Series Producer is Adam Wydrzynski, BBC Studios.



Notes to Editors

BBC Children in Need’s 2022 Appeal show culminated with an on-the-night total of £35million.

About BBC Children in Need

BBC Children in Need believe every child and young person deserves the opportunity to thrive and be the best they can be.

BBC Children in Need’s ambition is to create lasting, positive change across the UK for the children and young people who need it most. Together with the BBC and partners, BBC Children in Need aim to inspire the nation in support of their work.

BBC Children in Need’s 1,700 local charities and projects work tirelessly in every corner of the UK to help children & young people overcome the additional challenges they currently face, including supporting children and young people living in poverty, providing emergency support to families in crisis, providing comfort to children feeling sad, lost and alone, helping children overcome social injustice and supporting children to feel safe and secure again.

Further information on BBC Children in Need can be found at:


About BBC Studios

BBC Studios Production makes around 2000 hours of content annually for the BBC and other UK and international broadcasters and received 79 awards and over 300 nominations over the past year, making it the most awarded producer in the UK. Spanning drama, comedy, factual, factual entertainment, entertainment, music and events, its award-winning credits include Strictly Come Dancing, Blue Planet II, Doctor Who, Good Omens, This Country, Famalam, Louis Theroux and Later With Jools, Glastonbury,

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