BBC Children in Need Appeal 2015 raises £37m and beats last year’s total

Celebrities including Nick Grimshaw, Tess Daly and the EastEnders cast unite to launch the six-and-a-half hour BBC fund-raising special

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The BBC’s Children in Need fundraising appeal has raised more than £37m for disadvantaged people in the UK.

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By the early hours of this morning the figure has totalled £37,100,687, beating last year’s £32.6m. Children in Need described the tally as a “record breaker”.

Highlights of the night included the much-anticipated exclusive Star Wars sketch which saw R2-D2 and C-3PO joined by Warwick Davis.

The cast of EastEnders performed ‘Puttin’ On the Ritz’ (below) while Call The Midwife stars competed in a special version of Strictly Come Dancing.

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Elsewhere on the programme, Scott Mills abseiled down the ArcelorMittal Orbit in London’s Olympic Park and musical performances were provided by the likes of Ellie Goulding, Selena Gomez and Rod Stewart.

The One Show’s Team Rickshaw also arrived in the studio having completed their week long challenge, raising £3,468,378. The 2015 Rickshaw Challenge saw six young people cycle from Land’s End to the East End, covering more than 470 miles.

Meanwhile, Jess Glynne performed the official BBC Children in Need single for 2015, ‘Take Me Home’.

Other stars who made an appearance included Tom Daley, Mel Giedroyc, Lord Sugar, Sue Perkins, Martin Clunes, Ricky Wilson, Danny Dyer, Barbara Windsor, Lewis Hamilton and will.i.am.

Dermot O’Leary hosted this year’s fundraiser, replacing Sir Terry Wogan after the 77-year-old pulled out for “health reasons”.

O’Leary said: “It’s been an absolute blast. Thank you so, so much.

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“To Terry, I hope you’re feeling better, I hope we get to enjoy a drop of the pure very soon and we’re all doing you justice here.”