BBC Children in Need telethon on the night fundraising total falls again

BBC Children in Need’s on the night fundraising total following last Friday’s telethon raised £33.5m amid a continuing decline in the event’s appeal among donors.

This year’s total is down £1.5m on 2022’s on the night total of £35m.

It is also £5.8m down on 2021’s on the night total of £39.3m.

In addition, this year’s on the night tally is also £3.5m down on November 2020’s telethon event, which was impacted by the Covid pandemic. In 2020 the event’s on the night total was £37m, significantly down on 2019’s total of £47.8m.

BBC Children in Need said that this year’s on the night fundraising total shows “the overwhelming kindness and generosity” of people “especially when things are so incredibly hard for so many”.

“I want to thank the UK for once again showing children and young people that we are here for them,” he added.

During the event £380,769 was raised for Treetops Hospice through a fundraiser involving BBC’s DIY SOS team and Radio 2.

Meanwhile the broadcaster’s Countryfile presenters were involved in raising £2m through a rambling initiative involving young people.

Radio 2 presenter Vernon Kay’s ‘ultra, ultra marathon’ challenge raised £5m.

This year’s event included a partnership with TikTok that involved the platform launch six limited edition special Pudsey bear gifts, representing the event’s long running mascot. This initiative raised £513,000.

Other celebrities involved included Ade Adepitan, Mel Giedroyc, Jason Manford, Chris Ramsey, Lenny Rush and Alex Scott. This year’s telethon alwo featured an exclusive new Doctor Who scene, featuring a new character played by the comedian Mawaan Rizwan.

In August official figures revealed that charity donations made via phone paid services fell by more than a quarter over the last year. While £50m in donations were made over the phone in 2021/2022, this total fell 28.1% to £35.9m in 2022/23, according to figures published by the Phone-paid Services Authority.

The Authority highlighted a slump in popularity of telethons and the cost-of-living crisis as factors in this decline.

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