The show opens with your hosts Sir Terry Wogan and Tess Daly. Cheryl Cole kicks off the evening
Peter André is in BT Tower interrupting the celebrity phone operators. He'll be over to Television Centre a little later to perform on stage.
We switch to the One Show Team where we find out that Chris Evans has been voted by the One Show viewers to clean the windows on One Canada Square, Canary Wharf. As suspected, it's very high and very windy. Evans is "petrified", he cleans about four windows then gets deposited back onto terra firma again. This has raised over £100,000 for Children In Need. Hooray!
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton take some kids who are in care go-karting. They split into teams and have a relay race. Then Jenson and Lewis battle against each other for the final lap. Jenson's team wins overall but Lewis wins the final lap by 2/10 of a second.
A quick switch to Belfast where Westlife are singing Safe live on stage. Doesn't it seem like there's less time in the main studio these days? Then its off for a quick tour around the country to see what brilliant fund raising activities have been going on during the day.
The cast of Merlin have mashed up some out-takes and strategically placed Pudsey next to two available cast members to film a segment to encourage viewers to donate their cash!
JLS are here with a massive cheque from Radio 2 and a promise to sing the official Children In Need song - Love You More - a little later.
Kylie takes us up to 8:00 by singing Better Than Today. It's bloomin' fantastic. Kylie is amazing!
Dr Who and Amy Pond (Matt Smith and Karen Gillan) greet a couple of courageous guests to the TARDIS, have a chat, some tea and cakes and show a trailer for the Christmas Special.
Oohhh It's time for the Strictly Come Dancing special. How on earth has Tess managed to get over to the other studio, get changed and look so refreshed in a matter of seconds. Oh, it's recorded... I see. It's Harry from McFly (with Ola Jordan) versus Rochelle from The Saturdays (with Ian Waite). The judges are Craig, Len, Sir Tel and Pudsey. Rochelle and Ian are dancing an American Smooth to a McFly song (It's All About You)... I wonder if that means Harry and Ola are going to be dancing to a Saturday's number? It is danced well and she looks very relived to have finished. The judges score them 33. Rochelle admits to rehearsing for only seven hours! Now it's Harry's turn and yes, he is dancing to a Saturday's track (Ego). It's a FANTASTIC Paso and is completely deserving of the 35 points that the judges award (it should have been more). The studio audience has the final say and HARRY AND OLA are declared the winners!
The Hairy Bikers enter a greasy spoon and start dancing and singing to Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell - and through the magic of TV the cafe is transformed into a karaoke bar! If you thought Meatloaf was camp then you've seen nothing until you've seen The Hairy Bikers dancing in front of a
Cut to a
JLS are shown visiting a school full of great kids - demonstrating where some of the money donated to Children In Need goes. Then it's back to the studio where JLS are live, singing the official Children In Need song - Love You More.
Eastenders meets Coronation Street in "East Street". The Southerners fly up the cobbles with Chas & Dave's Rabbit Rabbit blaring out of the car speakers. The Northerners have their photo taken outside the Queen Vic and Michelle apparently knows Alfie. It's messing with my head seeing Corrie and Eastenders all mixed up but it's very annoying listening to all the stereotype jokes (can't understand accents, beer tasting different). It's very interesting to see how similar the main characters are in both soaps - even though the comparisons have been highlighted deliberately. All the cast burst into song and dance at the drop of a hat. There is a twist in the tale where Liz tells of a baby that she had to give away. And lo and behold - it's Kat!!
You ain't my mother
OH YES I AM!
Susan Boyle sings her version of Perfect Day, aptly so because it was the official Children In Need song back in 1997. Sir Tel tries to interview SuBo after her little sing-song but it looks like she's been coached not to say anything other than the donation telephone number. Better to be safe than sorry, eh?
Over to Glasgow and the sight of John Barrowman in a spotty suit is worth a donation itself! He introduces Alex Burke to sing Start Without You. He stares vacantly into the distance trying to seek out his cue-cards.
Take That (Jason, Howard, Mark, Gary AND ROBBIE just in case you'd forgotten that they'd reformed recently. Or you've been living in a hole. Or something.) close the first half of the show with their new song The Flood. Robbie tries his hardest not to sing louder than the other, but fails. The crowd goes wild. Mark appears to be the only one who hasn't grown in height in the last 16 years.
OH! Take That do Never Forget as their final song. *swoon* at Howard (Ed: This is the opinion of Nickie and not necessarily Popsiculture)
Tess is leaving at 10:00pm to head off to Blackpool for Strictly Come Dancing tomorrow (bad planning there Auntie Beeb) and her shoes will be filled by Fearne Cotton.
Children In Need switches to BBC2 for a Mastermind Special
Four famous faces sit in the spotlit black chair:
Fred McAuley - answers questions on Fawlty Towers
Tony Hawks (not the skateboarder) - answers questions on Fridges
Andi Osho - answers questions on The Matrix Trilogy
Stewart Francis (not him off Crackerjack) - answers questions on the Toronto Maple Leafs Ice Hockey Team
Andi wins with 30 points
10:35 Back to BBC1
After a total update, Fearne introduces Sir Tom Jones singing Give A Little Love and Didn't It Rain. He's never really been my cup of tea but, boy(o), can he sing!!
THE BBC NEWSREADERS ARE HERE and raring to
(by the way - no point WHATSOEVER in Louie Spence being there for the last bit)
We're past 11pm now and Nickie's gone to enjoy a Cheeky Vimto or two, so you're with Popsiculture's own Bobble for the duration.
Come Dine With Dragons takes us into the new hour and proves that Bannatyne knows nothing about the Imperial system. Theo thinks stuffed vine leaves are a main course...? At least they're stuffed with meat. And what's Jones cooking...? Chicken liver parfait. Or to be more precise, he's serving some chicken lollies Heston Blumenthal made. Fist of Fun fans, your time has come.
The mousse in liquid nitrogen is pure Blumenthal - but it's good to see the dragons blowing smoke! And hey, Jones comes clean so it's all good. Bannatyne's crumble doesn't impress much - partly due to another muck-up with the Imperial system that leads to some lumpy custard.
And Theo wins! He gets the dragon braggin' rights. Excellent work.
11:24 and Peter Andre's back to sing a pretty decent interpretation of one of my favourite Michael Jackson tracks - Man In The Mirror. If you wanna make the world a better place... well, you know what to do. Not sure if I'm feeling moved by the performance or the mulled wine. Maybe it's both.
And it's off to the regions... how's it going where you are?
11:34 Pixie Lott stays up way past her bedtime to sing Turn It Up and almost wears a dress. She looks a bit like a plastic-tableclothed table in the roadside diner of my dreams.
Barbara Windsor brings out the first of the late-night 'reasons to give' - the ones that everyone watches in silence. The ones that remind you what it's really all about. 03457 33 22 33.
Followed by The Script live from Belfast performing Nothing. And the crowd goes wild! We're into that cycle of music and repeats of the earlier stuff, probably, but that's OK - we're here for the duration by this point, right?
11:49 and as predicted, it's a rehash of the Hairy Bikers' Bat Out of Hell performance. Actually pretty glad to see this one again. Nice guyliner!
11:54 and I'm already proved wrong. It's new, it's live, and it's Loose Women performing a scarily authentic version of The Promise. I actually think this is better than the first performance I saw of it by Girls Aloud on Dancing On Ice.
It's midnight, and Children in Need takes us into Saturday with...
Saturday kicks off with McFly in Glasgow singing a typically spirited performance of Shine A Light. I have to admit, they look a damn sight more sprightly than me at midnight.
...and there's more new stuff at 12:12 with the cast of Priscilla performing Go West. Will this night of entertainment never end? Together, this is what we'll do...!
Hang on - that actually IS Alf Stewart! Ya flamin' gallah!!
And the cast have raised nearly £9k by collecting at their performances. That's a few generous West End audiences right there.
12:19 and it's a re-run of EastStreet - another good effort, actually. Makes a change from a song and dance routine. Time to donate, if you already saw it earlier. That's the idea, isn't it? Weird how the north-south stuff doesn't bother me, the gay bit seems funny, yet the Asian part - even though I think it's genius - feels like dangerous territory. Anyway, never mind that - it's all in a good cause and there's a Grease song coming up, so it's all good.
Cee Lo Green's here next with... um... Forget You. Guess the version with expletives is a bit much for Children in Need. But sweet Jesus if this isn't a great performance...?!
12:44 (is my clock one minute slow?) and Helen Skelton is here. She's like the wind through my tree. Actually she looks and dances like an angel. And she's a northerner, so she gets a special place in my heart. I hope she's a part of Children in Need for a long time to come - she's made some impressive one-woman efforts for this show the past couple of years.
Nearly into the final hour, and Only Men Aloud give us an acapella version of Don't Stop Believin'. It's a bit like the gayest Haka of all time, but it's kinda cool. I do love this song.
The final hour begins. Feeling a little emotional here. John Owen Jones gives an equally emotional and truly excellent performance of Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera. Why was he not on earlier? He's brilliant. 03457 33 22 33 folks.
Alesha Dixon with a story none of us should ever have to hear - not because it's disturbing, but because it should never be allowed, ever, to happen. At moments tonight the Pudsey ears I'm wearing feel out of place - a frivolous accessory in the face of unimaginable suffering - but really they're a totem of the power of Children in Need, its ability to turn a variety showcase into a massive force for good. I wear them proudly. 03457 33 22 33.
We're 45 minutes from the end and it's time for a reminder of Children in Need's top ten moments. Not sure why "We are the children... we are the meek... we are the voice that is longing to speak... We are the future... we are the seed... if you want to help, help Children in Need" isn't there. But you can't win them all.
Incidentally, I'm not running through the top ten. If you're that interested, check out the full top 50 on iPlayer - there's some good stuff in there.
Half an hour to go and it's Ellie Goulding with Starry Eyed. She looks great, it's a strong performance - and the energy levels still seem high. Not long now, hold it together guys, that final totaliser is within touching distance but there's still donating to be done!
Speaking of which, it's Maroon 5 with the aptly titled Give A Little More. Anyone else feeling the pressure in these final minutes? It's like suddenly every performance counts as we go towards that end-of-night total. Not sure I can handle a heartfelt "we know you did your best" from Tezza if we miss the record total. Ouch.
It's HEAVEN 17!! I'm a child of the 80s so this is VERY EXCITING. I'm trembling as I type this, but... they perform, of course... Temptation. Wow. An incredible live performance and an absolutely superb way to strike the quarter-hour mark.
1:50 Is this it? It sounds like a totaliser...
No, it's a best-of. Actually, a long close-up on a ginger girl. Terry's transfixed. Alan's the professional, calling him back. Awkward time-filling. Have they got the VT? That stands for video tape. They have! And it's introduced by the good old "We are the children" anthem. A true tune.
We're pushing 2am now. I'm nervous. Is it time? Is it the final total of the night? I'm not sure I'm ready... but it's out of my hands. OK, bring it on. Terry, Tess, Fearne, Alan, you've carried us once again through a telethon of epic proportions with unflappable good spirits. And here we are. Join hands guys, it's the moment of truth.
And you know what? We'll beat last year's total, by the final count. The work doesn't stop, and neither does the donating. Whether you donated tonight, or whether you're still collecting that sponsorship money - you're amazing, just the way you are.