Believe it or not the first broadcast appeal for children, was on Christmas day back in 1927 on the radio, and it raised £1,143 18s 3d, which was split between 4 well known childrens charities.
The first televised appeal didn’t take place until 1955 and was called ‘Children’s Hour Christmas Appeal’ and was presented by Sooty and Harry Corbett.
These Christmas Day Appeals continued to be aired on TV and Radio until 1979 and raised a total of £625,836.
Over the years the presenters have included Terry Hall, Eamonn Andrews, Leslie Crowther, Michael Aspel and Terry Wogan – who made his first appearance in 1978.
All changed in 1980, when the appeal was broadcast on 21st November in a telethon format on BBC One and was hosted by Terry and co-presented by Sue Lawley and Esther Rantzen.
Mark Patterson, who became Executive Producer for nine years, developed the telethon appeal and it immediately captured the public’s imagination. That first appeal increased donations dramatically, breaking the million pound mark for the very first time.
Terry Wogan remains the telethon’s main presenter and has been joined over the years by a diverse line up of co-presenters including Joanna Lumley, Sue Cook, John Craven, Andi Peters, Gaby Roslin, Natasha Kaplinsky and lately Fearne Cotton.
Pudsey Bear was introduced to the TV telethon in 1985. Designed by Joanna Ball, a BBC graphic desiner, the brown cuddly bear was named after a West Yorkshire town where she was born.
Pudsey bear was so popular that he remains the BBC Children in Need’s official logo, but he was changed to a yellow bear with a red spotted bandage in 1986.
So far the appeal has raised over £740 million.