BBC Children in Need: The 10 best moments from down the years

The annual charity fixture is back

Pudsey Bear is the logo of Children In Need (Getty Images)
'Children In Need' mascot Pudsey Bear. (Getty Images)

It’s a night all about raising money and changing lives.

BBC Children in Need has been an annual charity fixture for more than four decades, bringing together the best and the brightest names and characters from the world of entertainment.

The biggest stars in the UK and around the world have gathered for a series of sketches, gags, crossovers and one-off exclusives that have had the whole country talking.

From Lou Reed to BB-8, many Doctor Who versions, and even EastEnders meeting Coronation Street in soap world’s crossover event to rival the Avengers, here are some of the best moments from down the years.

BBC newsreaders’ Rocky Horror Show tribute (2002)

The serious men and women of the corporation’s current affairs world have become traditional staples of the charity night, with some efforts cringier than others. But they’re at their best when they totally go for it, and this is a great one.

Johnny and DVO as Jason and Kylie (1998)

In 1998, Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen were among the most beloved stars on TV thanks to their cheek, charisma and chemistry as the hosts of The Big Breakfast on Channel 4.

They teamed up for a one off Stars in Their Eyes-style cover of Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue’s classic pop hit Especially For You, and the nation went wild.

Perfect Day (1997)

The all-time best musical adventure for the charity night. There have been loads of singles released in the name of CIN, but none better than this amazing who’s who musical team up when the biggest singers from around the world united for a cover version of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day. An amazing piece of entertainment.

Star Wars does the Totaliser (2015)

Just as the world was going Jedi crazy for the impending release of The Force Awakens, Star Wars actor Warwick Davies joined Anthony Daniels as C3-P0 and ably assisted by R2-D2 and BB-8 to press the button revealing the money raised so far. Barbara Windsor, Stephen Merchant and Mel & Sue joined in the fun in cosplay style.

East Street (2010)

ITV’s biggest show meets BBC’s biggest show for the ultimate in showdowns and show offs. The Coronation Street cast of characters headed to the Queen Vic for a pint while the Rover’s Return welcomed in some bemused stars from EastEnders.

Andy Murray vs Peter Crouch (2020)

The tennis legend met the long legged England striker for a special charity tennis game, which was more about taking the mickey than taking points. A hilarious round of charity sports fun from two guys not afraid to poke fun at themselves.

Ulrika Jonson and Kermit the Frog (1997)

Swedish-born TV presenter Jonson emulated Michelle Pfeiffer’s iconic piano chanteuse performance from The Fabulous Baker Boys - but with Muppet hero Kermit the Frog at the keyboard while she sang Makin' Whoopee.

Doctor Who Time Crash (2007)

At the peak of his powers, David Tennant’s 10th Doctor had a great charity special for the fundraising night by co-starring with fifth Doctor, Peter Davidson, including lots of laughs and touching moments between the two - and a great teaser for that year’s Titanic themed Christmas special.

Peter Kay’s All Star Band (2009)

The Bolton-born comedian brought together a stunning kids telly crossover event, uniting most of the staples of animation for a charity single medley of pop classics

Bob the Builder, Postman Pat, Teletubbies, Thunderbirds, Fireman Sam, Paddington and Thomas the Tank Engine were among the many who got together for the musical fun.

Harry Hill’s Take On Me (2013)

The stand-up comic and presenter was lauded for his hilarious spoof of the classic video, which saw an animated Harry steal Sinitta’s sausage through the newspaper, while Warwick Davies plays keyboard moodily in the background, and the Hairy Bikers invade.

Children in Need airs live on Friday, 17 November from 7-10pm on BBC One