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The BBC Chil­dren In Need ap­peal show is back on Fri­day. Pre­sen­ters Tess Daly, Gra­ham Nor­ton, Mel Giedroyc, Ade Ade­pitan, Rochelle and Marvin Humes and Rob Beck­ett ex­plain why, in th­ese trou­bled times, the char­ity night puts a smile on their faces

South Wales Echo - - Life Style - CHIL­DREN IN NEED Fri­day, BBC1 & BBC2, from 7.30pm

AN all-star pre­sent­ing line up, an un­for­get­table night of en­ter­tain­ment and mil­lions of pounds raised for char­ity: it’s time for BBC Chil­dren In Need 2018.

More than 2,500 projects help­ing chil­dren in com­mu­ni­ties across the UK are sup­ported by the char­ity, which aims to help young peo­ple fac­ing a range of disad­van­tages, whether it be poverty, dis­abil­ity or ill health, or ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dis­tress, ne­glect or trauma.

The ap­peal show, first broad­cast in 1980, al­ways makes for an amaz­ing night of tele­vi­sion – all with the help of Pud­sey Bear of course.

For Gra­ham Nor­ton, some of the things he most en­joys about the night in­clude “the chance to hang out with Mel Giedroyc, who is a joy” and “the other is be­ing able to see th­ese sto­ries of peo­ple who are helped by BBC Chil­dren In Need – that is al­ways a high­light”.

He adds: “There aren’t many things that unify this great coun­try, but I do think BBC Chil­dren

In Need is one of them.”

Here, we chat to all of the pre­sen­ters to find out what’s in store this year.

NEW AD­DI­TION

CO­ME­DIAN and TV pre­sen­ter Rob Beck­ett, 32, has just landed his first stint as a host for Chil­dren In Need. So how is the fresh-faced star feel­ing about the mam­moth task at hand.

“The thing is,” says Rob, “I try not to get too worked up over stuff like this. My mum’s al­ways told me just be­cause the sit­u­a­tion changes, doesn’t mean you have to.

“So I’m just go­ing to try and treat it like any other nor­mal day I’ve pre­sented re­ally.”

Each year, the ap­peal show is filled with in­cred­i­bly mov­ing sto­ries from all around the coun­try. Rob says earnestly: “My main worry is that I’m go­ing to get up­set see­ing all the videos. I’ve got two lit­tle kids, so I might have to close my eyes when the videos are on, be­cause I’ve got to try and com­pose my­self to present.” He’s res­o­lute when asked if the na­tion’s fundrais­ing gen­eros­ity is a pos­i­tive tonic to the some­times dreary head­lines th­ese days.

“It’s easy to give gen­er­ously when times are good, but if you can still do good things when times are tough, I think it’s an im­pres­sive thing the coun­try can do.”

EMO­TIONAL STO­RIES

FOR Ade Ade­pitan, 45, be­ing part of Chil­dren In Need is in­spir­ing.

He also knows first-hand how amaz­ing the work is that Chil­dren In Need does, as he grew up play­ing wheel­chair bas­ket­ball at the Stoke Man­dev­ille spinal unit.

“I re­mem­ber when I was in the ju­nior cham­pi­onships, BBC Chil­dren In Need used to host part of their show there and they would sup­port the play­ers and help us with get­ting money for new chairs and sports equip­ment.”

GREAT PRE­SEN­TER PAIR­INGS

AS well as the im­por­tant fundrais­ing the show does, for­mer JLS mem­ber Marvin Humes loves that it’s an op­por­tu­nity to work with wife, Rochelle, whose other pre­sent­ing cred­its in­clude Ninja War­rior and This Morn­ing.

The 33-year-old says: “It doesn’t feel like work when I’m with Rochelle. You may some­times have to work with peo­ple that you’ve never worked with be­fore and it can be tricky at the be­gin­ning, so when work­ing with your part­ner, it doesn’t get any eas­ier than that.”

HEART­WARM­ING MO­MENTS

MEL Giedroyc, for­mer pre­sen­ter of The Great British Bake Off, en­thuses: “It gen­uinely makes me feel proud to be British and I think the sup­port brings out the best in hu­man be­ings.”

The star, who will take the reins along­side Gra­ham, adds: “Of course there are highs and lows through­out the show, but essen­tially, I think, it re­ally brings out the best of peo­ple.”

SPE­CIAL MEM­O­RIES

THERE have been so many great celebri­ties who have taken part in Chil­dren In Need over the years.

Most mem­o­rable of those per­haps is the late Sir Terry Wo­gan, and work­ing along­side him was one of Tess Daly’s great­est high­lights.

“He was an ab­so­lute gen­tle­man who had been there from the very be­gin­ning and it meant so much to him,” says the Strictly Come Danc­ing host, 49.

“He spent all year work­ing on var­i­ous projects and do­nated money to BBC Chil­dren In Need. He was so in­cred­i­bly gen­er­ous and it was such a priv­i­lege to work with him.

“He is a leg­endary broad­caster and I just loved that twin­kle in his eyes and never know­ing when he was go­ing to go off script!”

L-R: Chil­dren In Need hosts Rob Beck­ett, Ade Ade­pitan, Mel Giedroyc, Gra­ham Nor­ton, Tess Daly, Marvin and Rochelle Humes

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