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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
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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