On Friday 13 November Children In Need will hit our screens for the 40th year. To celebrate this special anniversary, presenter Ade Adepitan MBE, is our guide on this funny, poignant and revealing numerical tour across four fabulous decades of the charity’s history.
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.
From newscasters channelling their inner Beyonce to the less familiar but equally eye-popping 'stripping-for-money' routines which peppered the decades, this charity night was never short of invention. Over the decades, it has been populated by the most extraordinary array of talent: who could forget Eddie Redmayne’s star-studded search for Pudsey, or that clash of the Titans between Peggy Mitchell and Lauren? Often worlds collided unexpectedly as in the unforgettable Weatherfield/Walford sketch, or when Jon Culshaw managed to sound more like Tony Blair than Blair himself.
And at the heart of it all were two key elements: the late, and much-lamented Sir Terry Wogan, and the children he, and so many others, laid down their egos to help. As Ade attests, Children in Need can and does change lives (the charity even changed the course of his 12 year-old self by helping to fund his first sports wheelchair, an intervention which sent him on the road to Paralympic Gold).
Children In Need: 40 Fabulous Years airs Wednesday 4th November at 8pm on BBC One.