CRAZY stunts, cake sales and wacky costumes were the order of the day as South Yorkshire and the rest of the country helped to raise almost £27 million for Children In Need.
Bosses of the BBC’s marathon annual charity day, hosted by Sir Terry Wogan, Tess Daly and Fearne Cotton, were “surprised” but “thrilled” by the amount raised.
It beats the 2011 live show total of £26.3 million, which continued to grow to over £46.9 million after the big night.
TV and musical favourites taking to the stage to get the party started included Doncaster’s own Louis Tomlinson and his chart-topping boy band One Direction, with a performance of Live While We’re Young.
Girls Aloud also made their long-awaited comeback after three years apart, taking to the stage in matching orange off-the-shoulder tulip dresses.
Meanwhile, South Yorkshire schools, nurseries, colleges, community groups and businesses had been a hive of activity earlier as thousands of people showed their support for the annual fundraiser.
At Westbourne School in Broomhill, Sheffield, pupils donned pyjamas for the day, while children at High Storrs School in the city put their talents to good use with a lunchtime concert and cake sale.
Rae Booyens, High Storrs communications co-ordinator, said: “It went really well, there were a lot of staff in silly costumes. We don’t know the total raised but in lunchtime alone it went to three figures.”
Youngsters at the Kids and Cuddles toddler group at Hillsborough, Sheffield, put their best foot forward in a sponsored walk, raising more than £120, while children at Little Ducklings Day Nursery, Wombwell, indulged in some fun bun-baking,
For some, however, fundraising proved a much more strenuous task.
Alan Hobson, 54, a member of Dronfield-based fundraising cycle club The Chain Gang sweated it out at Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre to complete a 120-mile static bike ride.
He said: “Usually more than one member does it, but this year I was solo. Shoppers are always very generous.”
Staff from Robins and Day car dealerships in Handsworth and Hillsborough showed muscle power with a sponsored car push around Don Valley Stadium in Attercliffe.
The group enlisted the help of Sheffield Eagles stars in the Big Push for Pudsey, which saw them smash their target of 208 laps.
Health workers at the NHS Walk-in Centre in Broad Lane, Sheffield, showed their support for Children In Need by holding various fundraising activities, including a homemade cake sale and wearing something spotty.
They have raised £70.35 so far and are still collecting.
Jessica Faye Mawe, healthcare assistant at the centre, who organised the fundraising, said: “It was fun coming up with ideas to raise money and the staff have got really involved in baking – and eating – cakes and wearing spotty scarves, socks and hats.”
Camera crews invaded Magna Science and Adventure Centre in Rotherham, picked as Yorkshire’s regional host for the night. The BBC studio in London cut to the former steelworks to highlight the efforts of people across the area in its nationwide broadcast to millions of viewers.
Sheffield-based charity Support Dogs, which recently celebrated pairing its 200th canine companion with a person with disabilities, was featured on the show, while traders from Castle Market, who donated 50p for every customer who visited them yesterday, presented their cheque to BBC presenters.