Children in Need 2016: your guide to what’s on TV and when

There will be sneak peeks and musical performances and sketch comedy galore

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Sir Terry Wogan may be gone, but his legacy lives on in fundraising extravaganza Children in Need – so it’s time to plan your Friday evening in front of the telly, cheering on Olympic athletes as they take on the Tango and supporting EastEnders stars as they belt out 80s ballads. 

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BBC Children in Need is hoping to beat last year’s £37 million fundraising total on Friday 18th November by serving up over five hours of entertainment, featuring special performances by everyone from Little Mix to Busted to Craig David. 

Plus, Eddie Redmayne will be tracking down Pudsey Bear and Doctor Who fans will be treated to an exclusive first look at the Christmas special. 

Find out when everything’s on with our handy guide…


7.30-8pm Hosts Tess Daly and Greg James kick off a night of entertainment, introducing a performance by the cast of the new West End musical Aladdin.

This will be followed by a special children’s edition of Would I Lie to You? featuring Rob Brydon in the chair and David Mitchell and Lee Mack as team captains, with a somewhat younger selection of special guests than usual.

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8-8.30pm The cast of EastEnders will put aside their characters’ long-running feuds and love affairs to perform a dance medley of 1980s movie classics. This will be followed by more singing as a children’s choir of over 1,500 perform in unison across the nation.

Next up: an exclusive first look at the Doctor Who Christmas special. In this festive edition, the Doctor teams up with an investigative reporter and a masked vigilante to defend New York from a terrifying alien invasion.

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8.30-9pm Talk show host Graham Norton and TV presenter Ade Adepitan take over hosting duties as a group of children receives a very special surprise from Little Mix. 

This will be followed by an Olympic-themed Strictly Come Dancing, featuring members of Team GB who will swap Rio 2016 for the ballroom and sports clothes for sequins.

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Professional dancers Janette Manrara, Pasha Kovalev, Karen Clifton and Neil Jones have given the sports men and women a crash-course in Strictly and they will now take to the dance floor. Hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman.

9-9.30pm Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins help Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them star Eddie Redmayne in his quest to find Pudsey Bear. The sketch will feature special showbiz guests including Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.

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9.30-10pm After coverage of the last leg of The One Show’s rickshaw challenge, the first winner of the Sir Terry Wogan Fundraiser of the Year Award will be announced. 

Next up: Craig David, who will head into the studio to perform the official Children in Need single, All We Needed. 

10pm – 10.40pm (BBC2) While BBC1 takes a break for the 10 o’clock news, hop on over to BBC2 for a musical interlude featuring music from Take That, Ellie Goulding, Shane Richie and Tony Hadley, Gregory Porter and Olly Murs. 

10.40pm-11pm Back to BBC1 for an evening of fundraising fun! Marvin and Rochelle Humes host and introduce a special performance by Little Mix, and another by Swedish singer-songwriter Zara Larsson.

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Children in Need will also treat viewers to an exclusive sneak peek of the Call the Midwife Christmas special.

11-11.30pm Time for a comedy dance performance by the cast of Citizen Khan, before the stars of Aladdin show off another musical number. 

11.30pm-12am Comedian Russell Kane will put in an appearance, followed by a performance by Busted in the studio. 

12am-1am It may be getting late but the casts of West End musicals Motown and Half a Sixpence are only just getting started.

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After their performances, the all-important final total will be revealed.