Friday 18th November sees Children in need return to our screens. 

But what is it about? 

Every year, the BBC and other partners join a huge fundraising drive to raise money for children’s charities across the UK. This culminates in a BBC TV Appeal show on Friday 18th November where celebrities come together to provide entertainment, raise funds, and inspire people to donate to the cause by sharing stories of the children the charity supports. 

“We fund thousands of charities and projects in every corner of the UK, that support children and young people to feel and be safer, have improved mental health and wellbeing, form better, more positive relationships and be given more equal opportunities to flourish.” 

This blog post will take a little look at the history of Children in Need and how you can watch the action using the University’s subscription to BoB (Box of Broadcasts)! 


History of Children in Need 

Here are some highlights from the almost one hundred years that Children in Need has been fundraising: 

  • 1927 saw (or heard!) the first ever children’s BBC radio appeal, with £1300 raised for children’s charities.  
  • It wasn’t until 1955 that the first televised appeal graced our screens – a Christmas appeal presented by Sooty and Harry Corbett. 
  • In 1980, the first Children in Need telethon raised £1 million, presented by Terry Wogan, Sue Lawley and Esther Rantzen. 
  • In 1985, Pudsey Bear became the BBC Children in Need mascot. He has had several makeovers over the years, going from brown to yellow and has also changed the design of his bandana a few times!  
  • In 2007, at 22 years old, he became the Pudsey we know today, with a colourful polka-dotted bandana. 
  • 2011 and 2012 saw Matt Baker take on the Rickshaw challenge, and in 2009 Children in Need celebrated its 30th televised appeal. 
  • In 2018, £1 billion had been raised for Children in Need since 1980. Wow! 


For a complete history of Children in Need see the links at the bottom of the page. 


Pudsey Bear on blue circle

Pudsey Bear on a blue circle


Appeal Night Friday 18th November: 

This year the Children in Need programme is called the ‘Great SPOTacular Appeal Night’ on Friday 18th November, and will be live on BBC One and iPlayer. 

The presenters for this year have been announced, you can see them here. 


Not in on Friday 18th November? Don’t worry, you can catch up on Box of Broadcasts. 

Box of Broadcasts (BoB) gives students and staff at Edinburgh Napier access to TV and radio recordings. BoB allows you to view TV and radio programmes from the BBC and choose and record upcoming broadcast programmes (you need to be in the UK to use BoB).  

BoB is available at Learning on Screen or via the LibrarySearch A-Z Database list. 

See BoB short video tutorials and frequently asked questions.  



For more info about Children in Need and Box of Broadcasts: 


By Judy Wheeler