The BBC vowed to hold its “biggest ever” Children in Need appeal last night, against the backdrop of the ongoing scandal caused by the Jimmy Savile paedophilia revelations.
Presented as ever by Sir Terry Wogan, the show was to feature the likes of Fearne Cotton, Tess Daly and Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw in a push to match last year’s record on-the-night total of £26 million.
Although £3,645,530 had already been pledged ahead of last night’s show, there were fears over whether the annual fundraising extravaganza would be affected by revelations surrounding the late BBC star’s predatory sexual behaviour towards children.
David Ramsden, BBC Children in Need chief executive, said: “This year’s campaign is bigger and better than ever and people right across the country are once again coming together to raise thousands that will help change the lives of disadvantaged children right here in the UK.”
The charity has been relatively untouched by the Savile scandal after it made a conscious decision not include him in its work.
A former chairman of Children In Need, Sir Roger Jones, has said he harboured suspicions about the Top of the Pops presenter, describing him a “pretty creepy sort of character”.
After the revelations surrounding Savile, he said: “We took the decision that we didn’t want him anywhere near the charity and we just stepped up our child protection policies.”