BBC Radio 2 has raised over five million pounds in aid of this year’s Children in Need, with a series of live auctions, text-in competitions and fundraising events.
The total figure of £5,715,167.57 was contributed to by presenters offering money can’t buy packages including Popmaster in your local pub with Ken Bruce and Be a radio presenter for the day with Steve Wright.
Chris Evans’s annual Carfest – an event that combines classic cars, live music and food while raising money for Children in Need – raised £1.7m.
Chris says: “What an incredible week it has been. It always blows me away how generous people are when it comes to Children in Need. The auction packages this year were incredibly sought-after and the response has been exceptional, so a huge thank you from me and everyone on the Radio 2 Breakfast team to all who took part in any activity and gave whatever they could for Children in Need across the week.”
Bob Shennan, Controller of BBC Radio 2, says: “Radio 2 listeners have done it again this year in helping to raise an outstanding amount of money for BBC Children in Need. Their fantastic contributions will make a huge difference to the lives of Britain’s underprivileged children.”
Chris Evans started off the auctions on Monday with The Ultimate Tennis Package – which raised £244,221. Tim Henman was on the show to announce a ‘money can’t buy’ tennis experience, featuring a tour of The Queen’s Club, a view of centre court from the commentary box at Wimbledon, and a knock about with some of the top names in tennis.
On Tuesday, Paula Radcliffe and Steve Cram joined the Breakfast Show team for The Magnificent Seven Marathon Package announcement – raising £271,943 – to run the London and New York Marathons. The winner will prepare for the race with a one-to-one session with Paula and Steve, plus Vassos Alexander from the Radio 2 Breakfast Show and Louise Minchin from BBC Breakfast will be looking after the winners at the New York Marathon.
The Dine and Disco – 10th Anniversary raised £1,295,769 on Wednesday, when Paul McCartney was confirmed to perform at the last ever event on 25 June next year at Chris Evans’s pub in Surrey. There will be food from Tom Kerridge, Mark Sargeant, Giorgio Locatelli and Natasha Evans, plus live music from McCartney.
There were four packages up for auction on Thursday, including Happy Christmas TFI and Happy New Year Top Gear: Tickets to the last TFI Friday of the year and the first Top Gear recordings, raising £360,194. There was also Famous Five Go Hyper To Hampshire: five classic car drivers and their co-drivers setting off from the piazza outside BBC New Broadcasting House and heading towards Lymington Yacht Haven – raising £195,829. Plus, a Festive Foodie Package – the chance for one lucky listener and three friends to attend a fabulous festive lunch hosted by Chris Evans and Alex Jones, raising £137,421, and 60 Go Bonkers to Brighton, with the top three bids joining the Breakfast team as part of The Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, on Sunday 6 November 2016. They will travel in three vintage buses driven by Chris Evans, Alex Jones and Ken Bruce – raising £131,500.
Sir Tom Hunter, also known as The White Knight, donated £1m to Chris’s Children in Need efforts and said: “Children in Need has always been close to our hearts, and it’s an absolute pleasure to help in our own small way. Listening to the bids coming in just shows how generous the great British public are.”
The prizes offered across Children in Need day on BBC Radio 2 included:
Saddle Up with Sara Cox
Allowing a listener and a friend to watch Sara Cox present Radio 2’s Breakfast Show. Afterwards, Sara will take the winners for a Mexican breakfast at Wahaca in Oxford Circus, London. From there they will make their way to the Ross Nye Riding Stables in Hyde Park for a sight-seeing horse ride around London’s famous Royal Park. Later that evening, they will take their place for the National Theatre’s award-winning production of War Horse.
Play Popmaster With The Popmeister In Your Pub
Presenter Ken Bruce and Lynn Bowles will bring UK radio’s most popular music quiz to your local pub. Radio 2 will provide the interval feast – sausage rolls and scotch eggs ahoy.
Vine’s Towering View Of London
The chance to see Jeremy Vine present his daily current affairs programme at Radio 2. After the show, Jeremy will take the winner for an exclusive tour of one of the capital’s most historic buildings – The Tower of London. Jeremy joins forces with Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower, to give a unique tour of the Queen’s House (not open to the public), followed by a private viewing of the Crown Jewels. Plus, later that evening, they will take their place as Lord Dannatt’s VIP guests for a very special event, a tradition dating back 700 years – The Ceremony of the Keys.
Be A Radio Presenter For The Day with Steve Wright
To be a member of the Steve Wright In The Afternoon Team for a day, alongside Steve, Tim, Bobbie and Janey in the Radio 2 studios. Watching how the show is put together, help read out that day’s Factoids, and even interview one of Steve’s star guests. The whole experience finishes with a bite to eat post-show with Steve and the team.
Simon’s Sous Chef
Simon Mayo invites the winner and a friend to be Drivetime’s sous chef for the day. Foodie Thursday’s Nigel Barden takes you into the kitchen of one of London’s best restaurants – the Michelin-starred David Moore at Pied à Terre. There they’ll enjoy a masterclass and become sous chef for the day, helping Nigel prepare everything needed for the Drivetime Show that evening. Simon and the team will sample the delights the winner spent the day cooking. After the show, they’ll head back to the restaurant with Simon and co to enjoy a well-deserved dinner.