Children In Need breaks record with more than £32.6m raised on the night

Highlights-packed evening saw a performance of Grease from the cast of EastEnders, an Ian Beale dream sequence, an exclusive look at the Doctor Who Christmas special and a performance from One Direction

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Friday night’s BBC Children in Need appeal beat last year’s record figure by more than £1m with £32,620,469 raised on the night.

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This narrowly pipped the record set in 2013 when the funds raised on the evening reached £31.1m.

Hosts Sir Terry Wogan, Tess Daly, Fearne Cotton, Rochelle Humes and Nick Grimshaw presided over a show which saw the reunion of S Club 7 with the band performing live for the first time since 2003. The S Club medley included classics Don’t Stop Moving, Reach, Bring It All Back and S Club Party.

One Direction also rocked the evening with their brand new song Night Changes sung for the first time on TV in a performance above the roofs of the Albert Square set.

The EastEnders cast joined the party with a rendition of songs from Grease and a skit in which Ian Beale met various ghosts from his time on the soap.

Viewers also enjoyed sneak peaks of the Christmas specials of BBC1 favourites Call the Midwife and of course Doctor Who.

In the Doctor Who scenes, Peter Capaldi had a grumpy exchange with Father Christmas, played by Nick Frost, in a scene which will whet the appetites of fans.

Another highlight was the performance of Hollywood star Gemma Arterton and the cast of the musical Made in Dagenham.

The show averaged 8.29m viewers – a share of 35.9% of the total available viewing – from 7.30pm to 10pm. However this was 1.5m down on the average for last year’s telethon.

Children in Need chief executive David Ramsden said: “People of the UK should be feeling incredibly proud of what has been achieved this evening. Their remarkable generosity will help us to change a lot of young lives.”

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Sir Terry Wogan, the charity’s life president, said: “Thank you for all you have done for BBC Children in Need, the money raised this evening is going to enable us to make a real difference to disadvantaged children and young people right here in the UK.”