Starts set for charity marathon Children in Need tonight
Published 18/11/2011 | 07:21
STARS including Gary Barlow, JLS and the cast of EastEnders are limbering up for this year's Children In Need appeal tonight.
The charity marathon kicks off at 7pm with a One Show special featuring presenter Matt Baker who is pedalling a rickshaw nearly 500 miles from Edinburgh to London to raise cash for the annual event.
Veteran presenter Sir Terry Wogan will be joined on the night by Fearne Cotton, Alesha Dixon and Tess Daly, who will host the show.
Other turns include fashion guru Gok Wan who is singing live to the nation, Lord Sugar who will enter the Dragons' Den and the cast of EastEnders performing the hits of Queen.
Westlife will perform on the night and a host of female BBC newsreaders including Sophie Raworth and Susanna Reid will strut their stuff on the dancefloor as part of a Strictly Come Dancing challenge.
Viewers will be able to bid for lots including a suit worn by Doctor Who star Matt Smith in the BBC1 series and a chance to visit the Match Of The Day 2 studio in a charity auction.
The appeal has raised more than £600m (€700m) for good causes since 1980.
Last night some of the biggest names in music wowed an audience of 14,000 at a special concert, Children In Need Rocks Manchester, inside the sold-out Manchester Evening News (MEN) arena.
Lady Gaga opened the huge show in typically stylish fashion.
Wearing a classic '50s style backless black outfit, black gloves, pearls, red lipstick and Marilyn Monroe-esque curls, she began a breathless set with Born This Way to rapturous applause and cheering.
JLS, Snow Patrol, Canadian artist Michael Buble, rappers Dappy and Fazer, Jessie J and Jamie Cullum were among the other acts at the show, which was put together by Barlow.
One of the biggest cheers of the evening was reserved for a classical artist - Andrea Bocelli and his soaring rendition of Nessun Dorma, made famous by Luciano Pavarotti and the 1990 World Cup.
In a rousing finale, Barlow introduced Coldplay, who sang three of their anthemic hits - Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, followed by Paradise and ending on Viva La Vida.