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By Kat Dibbits on

Bringing BBC Children in Need to the museum

We get a lot of filming requests here at the museum, and there's none we were happier to say yes to than when the BBC approached us to be the North West venue for this year's Children in Need.

Discussions started back in Spring about how we could host Pudsey and his pals for what is one of the biggest fundraising nights of the year. Colleagues from across the museum came together to talk to the BBC production team about everything from power sockets to hotdogs.

An event of this scale also meant the BBC team had to spend two days building a studio environment in our Revolution Manchester gallery – much to the fascination of our visitors. It’s a serious job – but they still had time to make sure the cameras were suitably attired in Pudsey ears…

A camera wearing Pudsey the Bear ears at the BBC's filming of Children in Need at the Museum of Science and Industry

After months of planning, it was finally time for the big event, and BBC North West Tonight host Roger Johnson was very excited:

One secret the BBC team hadn’t shared with us was what the song chosen for the Children’s Choir was going to be. It’s an iconic Children in Need moment and Roger was careful not to let the cat out of the bag:

With the specially-invited visitors starting to arrive, excitement was building. Children in Need tickets aren’t available to the general public – instead the BBC invite a mixture of charities who are helped by the funds raised and groups who raise money throughout the year.

Finally it was time for the choir to take to the stage. More than 1,500 children at 10 venues across the country form the Children’s Choir. The 10 choirs sing simultaneously on the evening, and their performances are stitched together in real time by the BBC production team to be broadcast live as one whole performance – an amazing technical feat. They sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow, which following on from the amazing videos showing the work of Children in Need was an incredibly poignant moment:

Across the UK, Children in Need viewers raised more than £50 million – the highest on-the-night total ever! We’re thrilled to have been a small part of this amazing event and can’t wait to see what next year brings.

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