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A young Terry Wogan wearing a checked jacket

5 Things we learned from BBC Children in Need’s 40 Fabulous Years

In case you missed it, a nostalgic 60-minute special graced our screens recently, dedicated to the 40 fabulous years that BBC Children in Need has been around. To celebrate this special anniversary, presenter Ade Adepitan MBE took us on a funny, poignant and revealing numerical tour across four fabulous decades of the charity’s history. Here’s our top 5 things we learnt from the programme;

“Viewers can expect heartfelt stories and a chance to see what we can do when we’re cared for, loved and given the opportunity to shine.”

Ade Adepitan
Terry Wogan on the set of BBC Chidren in Need in th 1980s
  1. Children in Need actually started life as a radio appeal for “sick children” on Christmas Day, 1927 but the television show we know and love today first hit our screens in 1980. That very first Appeal raised £1,300 (about £70k in today’s money) for six UK charities.

2. Westlife were wrapped in black tin foil for their appearance on the iconic music video for the Children in Need single, Perfect Day

A map with a pink line and a Pudsey head

3. It would take 28 hours to drive from the most northerly Children in Need funded project in Shetland to the most southern, in Jersey. In the last year, BBC Children in Need helped to change the lives of over 555,000 children and young people, and currently fund over 3,900 projects right across the UK.

The Children in Need choir performing

4. A highlight on the night of television is most definitely the children’s choir – bringing together hundreds of children from across the UK to sing as one. It’s a logistical and technical headache requiring months of rehearsals and preparations, but the result is well worth the effort. Over the years, thousands of children have been part of this UK choir – were you one of them? We’d love to hear your memories of being part of this huge and very special moment!

A young Terry Wogan wearing a checked jacket

5. The late, great Sir Terry Wogan would invite people who worked on BBC Children in Need projects over for tea

As Ade explains, Children in Need: 40 Fabulous Years is “not a countdown – Number 1 is no better than Number 40” but it is an assortment of bite sized snapshots of one of the most unpredictable nights in the TV calendar.

Watch the full programme right here on BBC iPlayer, and for everything you need to get involved in this year’s campaign and help change children’s lives, check out the links below.

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