Children in Need of a Top 10 countdown

To celebrate the annual charity telethon, coming to our screens on Friday 13 November, TV Editor Ellie McLaren looks back at the previous shows and counts down the best moments (good, bad and ugly) in Children In Need over the years with her Top 10

9th November 2015

1.Katie & Peter

My personal favourite moment of TV in the history of TV, Children in Need ‘06 saw glamour model turned reality TV star Katie Price (aka Jordan) and her uber tanned Aussie hubby Peter Andre sing a rendition of Aladdin’s ‘A Whole New World’. This was just the predecessor to Katie’s solo venture for Eurovision 2007 (which arguably flopped even worse than this attempt at pop stardom). Never ever has the antithesis of relationship goals been epitomised more aptly on TV. Of course, it was as excruciatingly cringey, orange, and hilarious as you would imagine. I genuinely think autotune has never worked harder. Autotune is the real star here.

2. Doctor meets Doctor

Possibly the nerdiest thing to happen on Children in Need ever,  2007 witnessed the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) come face to face with Doctor numero five (Peter Davison). Whilst the modern Doctor realised he was meeting himself (durr, he knows what he used to look like), Davison’s Doctor was completely oblivious, referring to (effectively) himself as a ‘skinny idiot ranting in front of my face about every single thing that happens to him (or should that be ‘me’?). Even better was the fact Davison greeted Tennant by exclaiming ‘oh’re... you’re a fan’. Yep, we all are, all these years on.

3.You Can Leave Your (Chef) Hat On

Back in 1998, five of the biggest names in TV cooking, including now massively-memed Ainsley Harriott, donned their birthday suits for a rendition of The Full Monty’s ‘You Can Leave Your Hat  On’. Harriott showed a shockingly good body for a man who cooks and eats for a living, and a young James Martin wouldn’t have looked out of place in a boyband. Whilst hilariously funny, we were children in desperate need, however, after seeing Anthony Worrall-Thompson’s naked stomach writhing on stage.  Some things can never be erased, no matter how much counselling your parents pay for.

4. Ain’t No Party Like An S Club Party


The icons of our childhood, S Club 7, reunited on stage last year, making late teens/early 20-somethings cry with happiness nationwide. Even Paul came back, after being the first to leave the band and make them just plain old S Club. The reunion covered the band’s full pop career and even allowed the solo endeavours their moment in the spotlight (remember Tina’s failed crack at solo stardom, eh?). The reunion for Children in Need inspired an arena tour for the band, so in some ways we gave to charity twice by helping their dwindling bank accounts as well as actual children in need.

5. The All-Star Cartoon Band

The biggest nostalgia fest ever to be televised, Children in Need 2009 saw Peter Kay’s Animated All Star Band perform a medley that was months in the making and super top secret. Characters involved included Bob the Builder, Spongebob Squarepants, the Thunderbirds squad and Peppa Pig. All voice actors for these characters weren’t told about the project until the very end. In total, the single raised over £170,000 for charity and took over 130 hours of recording time to create.

6. Newsreaders do Rocky Horror

Who could forget Jeremy Vine in fishnets? 2009 saw the BBC Newsreaders team up with Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity for a rendition of the much-loved stage show. Extremely out-of-tune singing and arrhythmic dance moves (literally, they nearly crashed into Ashley Banjo) was intermixed with saucy outfits. It was the first time we ever saw newsreaders as sexy, and we haven’t looked back since.

7. Simon Cowell Is No More

TV’s Mr Nasty got his just desserts in 2003. The then Pop Idol-maestro had solidified his position as arsehole of the talent show, even this early on in his TV career, and so Pop Idol colleague Pete Waterman decided that something needed to be done. Who knows, maybe he just wanted to be the main attraction of the show instead. On the Children in Need stage, Cowell looked more terrified than a 14 year old X Factor contestant as he witnessed the saw hovering over his torso. Unfortunately, nothing went wrong with the act, and Cowell is still in one piece 12 years later.

8. Children in Need Rocks

The biggest ego trip of Gary Barlow’s career, 2009 saw the Take That frontman round up all his showbiz pals (tenner bet he doesn’t even know half of them: following them on Twitter doesn’t count Gary mate) for a pop bonanza at The Royal Albert Hall. This event saw mum-favourite Robbie Williams join his ex-bestie on stage for the first time in 15 years, as well as Dizzee Rascal doing a take of ‘Diamonds Are Forever’. A poor man’s Royal Variety, in that there was no variety at all, and the Queen didn’t grace Barlow with her presence.

9. Corrie vs Eastenders


The two biggest names in soap opera land collided in 2010; after both running out of musicals to spoof for charity, Eastenders and Coronation Street decided to instead invite each other round to see how the other half live. Stock role doubles battled it out as animal print-clad barmaids bickered over a pint and showed us all just how similar the two shows are. Do we really need them both? We could sell one and give the money to charity, after all.

10. Ulrika & Kermit


On this countdown solely for its ugly tendencies, Children in Need took a decidedly creepy turn when it depicted Ulrika Johnson serenade Kermit the Frog back in 1997. Most of you are probably too young to remember this. If you are, don’t YouTube it, whatever you do. Those of you who are Celebrity Big Brother fans will remember just how bad Ulrika’s singing voice is, and serenading a puppet is even cringier than serenading Mini Me, it turns out.

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