Friday, 13 November 2009

BBC Children In Need

Next Friday is BBC Children in Need night. BBC Children in Need is an annual British charity appeal organised by the BBC. Since 1980 it has raised over £500 million.

Each year since 1980, the BBC has set aside one evening of programming on its flagship television channel, BBC One, to show events aimed at raising money exclusively destined for charities working with children in the UK. In 2007, the last completed event, the charity raised over £37 million, of which £13 million was raised on the broadcasted evening. BBC coverage also extends across the BBC's other television channels and national and local radio channels. A mascot called 'Pudsey', a yellow teddy bear with a bandage over one eye, was introduced in 1985 and has become a regular feature. Children in Need was registered as a charity in 1989. In 2007 Pudsey and the Children in Need logo were redesigned.
The appeal gains the majority of its money from donations of private individuals who may themselves have raised the funds by taking part in sponsored
events. Sponsored sitting in a bath of baked beans is a perennial favourite. Companies also donate either money directly or benefits in kind, such as HSBC donating banking facilities, and BT donating telephone lines and operators. On the night of the televised appeal, donations are solicited by celebrities appearing on the seven-hour long programme performing various activities such as sketches or musical numbers, intermixed with featurettes showing what the money will be used for. Featured celebrities often include those from programmes on the BBC's rival ITV network, including some appearing in-character, and/or from the sets of their own programmes. A sketch by BBC newsreaders has become an annual fixture (in recent years, Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in 2005 and a 'James Bond' theme in 2006). Stars of newly-opened West End musicals regularly perform a number from their show later in the evening after 'curtain call' in their respective theatres. The total raised so far is frequently flashed on screen, with presenters urging viewers to part with "any penny they can spare" to help push the total beyond the target milestone.
Although Children in Need is welcomed by a large proportion of the British public, there are some who offer an alternative view, that the portrayal of children, particularly disabled children, as victims is unfortunate and counter-productive. It is argued that a change in social attitudes will benefit the disadvantaged more than money and public sympathy. Intelligent Giving, an independent organisation which appraises charities has also accused Children in Need of being inefficient and wasting money on administration, and accused it of laziness in its financial accounting procedures. The money contributed to Children in Need is distributed to organisations supporting children in the UK aged 18 and under who have mental, physical or sensory disabilities; behavioural or psychological disorders; are living in poverty or situations of deprivation; or suffering through distress, sex abuse or neglect.
Pudsey Bear has now got a female friend named Blush, who is shy.
The BBC's first broadcast appeal for children took place in 1927, in the form of a five-minute radio broadcast on Christmas Day. It raised about £1,143, which equates to about £27,150 by today's standards. The annual appeal format transferred to television in 1955 and continued each Christmas Day until 1979. The yellow mascot, "Pudsey" Bear, was created in 1985 by Joanna Ball. The bear was named after her home town of Pudsey, West Yorkshire, where her grandfather was mayor. A reproduction of the bear mascot (made of vegetation) is in Pudsey park, near the town centre. (The picture, top right, is the old Pusey bear and logo, used from circa 1986 to 2007).
The first televised appeal took place in 1955 and was called the Children's Hour Christmas Appeal, with the yellow gloved puppet Sooty
Bear and Harry Corbett fronting it. The Christmas Day Appeals continued on TV and radio right up until 1979, with stars such as Terry Hall, Eamonn Andrews, Leslie Crowther and Michael Aspel. During that time a total of £625,836 was raised.Terry Wogan first appeared during this five-minute appeal in 1978, and again in 1979.

Putting Things Into Perspective

(Click on image to enlarge)
I received a very interesting e-mail recently, which included the chart reproduced above. Whilst we are all aware that Australia is a very big country, I must admit I was very surprised to learn that the whole land-mass of Europe would fit into just 45% of the land area of Australia. As the comment on the e-mail said ..... an interesting perspective.

Who Am I? - Thursday's Answer

The answer to
Who Am I?
Michael McIntyre

Panda Monium

What do you people do in there all day?
I'd like some time alone please.

Naughty Panda! Time out corner.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha .....

Panda Tai Chi
Romeo oh Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?


Today's brainteaser requires you to solve 12 cryptic clues that will lead you to the names of well known television programmes. The clues are as follow:

01 Mrs Peel meets Mr Winton.
02 Gardener's question time.
03 Eat or Fight?
04 An invitation to eat.
05 Two trees.
06 What's happening outside the Prime Ministers house?
07 Learning his trade.
08 July killings.
09 Ask the clock.
10 Trying to find the best prices.
11 These girls are not tight.
12 18 carat equipment.

Answers will appear in Saturday's Journal.