A generous history of helping our country’s Children In Need

pUDSEY bEAR
pUDSEY bEAR

CHILDREN in Need takes place this Friday and, as always, fundraising events are being organised throughout our region by clubs, schools and individuals.

We will have a full round-up and photos from your fundraising exploits in next week’s Market Rasen Mail, but what is Children In Need?

The BBC’s first ever broadcast appeal for children was a five-minute radio broadcast on Christmas Day in 1927.

The response was phenomenal and it raised £1,143 18s 3d, which was split between four prominent children’s charities.

The first televised appeal was the 1955 Children’s Hour Christmas Appeal, presented by Sooty and Harry Corbett.

The Christmas Day Appeals continued on TV and radio right up until 1979, raising a total of £625,836.

In 1980 the appeal was broadcast on BBC One in a new telethon format, hosted by Terry Wogan with Sue Lawley and Esther Rantzen.

It captured the public’s imagination to such an extent that the donations increased dramatically and broke the million-pound mark for the very first time.

Pudsey Bear made his television debut in 1985 when Terry introduced the new, brown cuddly mascot to the audience.

He was designed by Joanna Ball, a BBC graphics designer, who named him after the West Yorkshire town where she was born.

He proved very popular and returned as BBC Children in Need’s official logo the following year with his design amended to that of a yellow bear with a red spotted bandage.

In the two decades which have followed, Pudsey has received letters, drawings and e-mails from youngsters all over the UK and been photographed with more celebrities than he can remember.

Apart from a party hat worn in 2004 to celebrate the telethon’s silver jubilee, Pudsey has remained very much the same.

But a 2007 revamp gave Pudsey a fresh new look and brighter colours in time for the 28th annual BBC Children in Need Appeal.