Cher, Dolly Parton and Marcus Rashford were among the celebrities to join Pudsey Bear for BBC Children In Need’s 40th anniversary show last night.
The annual fundraiser took place without an audience for the first time owing to the coronavirus pandemic, but it still managed to raise more than £37 million by the end of the evening.
The annual event, which first aired in 1980, featured appearances from pars pop stars Kylie Minogue, Shawn Mendes, Nile Rodgers and Robbie Williams, as well as composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and fitness guru Joe Wicks.
Pop group Little Mix also featured in a comedy performance alongside children’s presenters Dick and Dom. But, their sketch was met with concern by some fans due to the notable absence of band member Jesy Nelson.
— Mixer Management 🎉 (@mixermanagement) November 13, 2020
It was the third time the group have appeared on TV without Nelson this week, after she pulled out of the final episode of reality show Little Mix: The Search.
The 29-year-old also did not perform or host with her bandmates at the MTV EMAs on Sunday, with a spokesperson for the group saying she was “unwell”.
Children in Need was an otherwise joyful affair which saw a total of £37,032,789 raised.
“Children In Need has been going for an astonishing 40 years and we have only been able to do so because of you,” Mel Giedroyc, one of the presenters of the live show, said as she thanked viewers for their support.
“Despite the challenges that we have come up against this year, and will continue to face while this pandemic plays out, we are strong because the hearts of the people who keep these projects alive are strong.”
The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge contributed £4,750,819 towards the total raised.