Children In Need: Race Across Yorkshire, Doctor Who scene and Masterchef puppet mayhem for this year's appeal show

Children In Need’s appeal show is just around the corner: Rachael Davis hears from the hosts about what’s to come and why the charity is so important.

BBC Children In Need’s vision is simple: that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood.

The charity supports, promotes and publicises work addressing the challenges children and young people face across the country, working to build their skills and resilience to overcome barriers such as poverty, crisis, social injustice and more.

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As ever, the BBC Children In Need appeal show will bring a jam-packed night of fun and fundraising to BBC One, hosted by wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan MBE, comedians and TV presenters Mel Giedroyc, Jason Manford, and Chris Ramsey, teenage actor Lenny Rush and former footballer Alex Scott MBE.

Mel Giedroyc, one of the presenters of BBC Children In Need. Photo: BBC.Mel Giedroyc, one of the presenters of BBC Children In Need. Photo: BBC.
Mel Giedroyc, one of the presenters of BBC Children In Need. Photo: BBC.

It’s set to be a show full of sketches, performances and challenges, as well as those all-important appeal films showing the impact the charity has on children across the UK. “It’s always a night just full of different things,” says Giedroyc, 55. “It’s very poignant, of course – I mean, the appeal films that they make every year, they never fail to just make you stop and think really about everything, about your own life, about the lives of others. As well as it being a night of absolute sterling entertainment."

This year, there’s a special one-off Doctor Who scene with the fourteenth Doctor, David Tennant; MasterChef mayhem as beloved British puppets compete to create a dish for judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace; a Race Across Yorkshire parodying the much-loved Race Across The World; a celebration of Disney’s 100th anniversary with a British debut TV performance of the title track from new animation Wish – and much more.

For the first time, there’ll be a child presenter joining the stellar line-up of Children In Need hosts – BAFTA and RTS-winning star of Am I Being Unreasonable?, Doctor Who and Dodger, Lenny Rush. “It was a massive shock, but the best shock ever, because obviously BBC Children In Need is one of the most well-known shows on British telly and I think it is such a great time for such a great cause,” the 14-year-old says.

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While the appeal show brings so much fun, there’s always the pertinent message at its heart that the work BBC Children In Need does is vitally important. “Sadly, there are children and families that need the help and support of others on a massive national scale,” says Ramsey, 37. “And as long as they need the help, BBC Children In Need will be there. And I’ll be on that TV reading all those text and phone numbers out for as long as they’ll have me.”

“Sadly, it is the case that a magic wand cannot be waved and all of the problems facing children will magically disappear,” agrees Giedroyc. “We have deeply entrenched issues with poverty in the UK. We have similar issues with health and social care, which sometimes cannot be accessed by all of our children. The list is endless. Sadly, we live in a deeply flawed world, and BBC Children In Need is a vital safety net, haven, place of hope, for many that the charity helps each year.”

BBC Children In Need is on BBC One on November 17 at 7pm.