Children in Need 2013: your guide to what’s on TV

From Doctor Who and McBusted to Gary Barlow's Children in Need Rocks and a Torvill and Dean Strictly special, here's the full line-up for tonight's BBC extravaganza

It’s that time of year again… Where else do we see giant cheques and an EastEnders cast having a good old boogie in Albert Square? This year’s Children in Need extravaganza is hosted by Terry Wogan (of course) with help from the usual suspects – Tess Daly, Fearne Cotton, Zoe Ball, to name a few – and there are heaps of treats to keep you lot entertained. 


The theme this year is ‘Be a Hero’ and the BBC have put in a suitably heroic effort rounding up the celebs: from Doctor Who to McBusted, Torvill and Dean to Call the Midwife, you’re in for an epic night in front of the telly. And don’t forget what it’s all in aid of – you can donate here

Here’s your guide to tonight’s line-up…


5:15pm Pointless Celebrities: Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman host a Children in Need special, pitting the likes of Sir Terry, Esther Rantzen and the boys from McFly against one another. For such capable fundraisers, aiming for the lowest number must have been strange.

7:00pm The One Show: The One Show have set up shop for one night only in Albert Square – what better location than the Queen Vic to launch Children in Need in style? 

7:30pm Children in Need: Where do we start? Top of the bill is an exclusive clip from the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, but Terry, Tess, Zoe and Fearne have plenty more up their sleeves. The party kicks off with performances from the cast of West End hit, Matilda, plus what is likely to be one of JLS’s last live performances ahead of their farewell arena tour. 

8:00pm Torvill and Dean: Olympic gold medal-winning Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean ditch their ice skates to go head-to-head in a Strictly Come Dancing special – but will their battle of the sequins leave their partnership on thin ice?

8:30pm Gary Barlow and Room 101: The Take That frontman does a Gareth Malone, leading a nationwide choir of 1,500 schoolchildren before Frank Skinner gives kids a chance to put their pet peeves in Room 101, all topped off by a poptastic performance from teen boppers One Direction. 

9:00pm Harry Hill’s hour of fun: In a music-heavy slot, the EastEnders cast throw on their dancing shoes for a spot of charleston and Bollywood from Albert Square, while the Call the Midwife gals hitch up their skirts for a 1950s-inspired song-and-dance number. And not one to miss out on the fun, Harry enlists a cast of celebs including Sinitta and the Hairy Bikers to remake a classic 1980s music video. Oh, and if you haven’t heard Ellie Goulding’s enchanting Children in Need single, How Long Will I Love You, she’ll be performing it live. 


10:00pm Children in Need Rocks: While we take a brief news interlude on BBC1, the fun continues over on 2 with Fearne Cotton and 1D hosting a feast of music, with unseen performances from yesterday’s Children in Need Rocks concert. 


10:35pm Catherine Tate: Catherine revives her foul-mouthed pensioner Nan as she heads to Holby City, meanwhile last year’s X Factor victor, James Arthur, joins in the festivities.

11:00pm McBusted: Hurrah! As the hours tick by, the entertainment cranks up a notch with newly united supergroup McBusted making their debut, plus the first UK performance of internet hit What Does the Fox Say?

11:30pm Battle of the Boybands: JLS take on McFly in a boyband showdown, the cast of West End musical Spamalot take to the stage, and Dido treats us to some ethereal vocals. 

12 midnight Wet Wet Wet: Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw is on the late shift, joining Terry for the evening’s conclusion with Wet Wet Wet performing Love Is All Around before the cast of new stage show The Commitments dazzle us with one last song and dance. Before we say goodbye, the night’s grand total raised is revealed, but will it top last year’s incredible £26 million?

Donate to this year’s Children in Need campaign here