“So, here we are on the 36th edition of Children in Need… and for the first time, I won’t be there, to cheer you on with word and gesture to another record-breaking year. I’m going to miss our wonderful, inspiring evening together, but I’ll be with you, watching, cheering and donating to a magnificent cause.” – Sir Terry Wogan
A BBC spokesperson confirmed that former The X Factor and BBC Radio 2 presenter Dermot O’Leary will take on the hosting duties usually carred out by 77-year-old Wogan, who has been part of the telethon since its inception in 1980.
“It’s a huge honour to be asked to step into Sir Terry’s shoes tonight; he is one of my broadcasting heroes and has been a source of support for me down the years. I’d like to add my best wishes to Sir Terry for a speedy recovery, and I hope I do him justice and do my small part to make the night a success and make as much money as we can for disadvantaged children across the country.” – Dermot O’Leary
The BBC’s first broadcast charity appeal took place in 1927, with the Children In Need fundrasing airing on radio until 1955 when Christmas appeals aired on BBC TV until 1979. The format was revamped from hour-long specials airing during the festive season into the November aired telethon in 1980, with Terry Wogan, Esther Rantzen and Sue Lawley presenting the first outing. While co-hosts have changed over the decades Wogan has always been involved with the yearly television event ever since. This will be the first year he has not appeared live during the proceedings.
“We are pleased to announce that fellow Irishman and Radio 2 presenter Dermot O’Leary will be stepping into Sir Terry Wogan’s shoes for tonight’s Children in Need from 7.30 to 10pm, hosting alongside Tess Daly and Fearne Cotton. The presenting baton will be picked up by Shane Richie on BBC Two at 10pm, then return to BBC One with Nick Grimshaw and Rochelle Humes from 10.30pm. We are incredibly grateful to Dermot for stepping in at such short notice but know he’ll do us and Sir Terry proud.” – BBC spokesperson
Sir Terry is also best remembered for hosting other BBC series such as his own chat show, Wogan, The Eurovision Song Contest, Come Dancing and Blankety Blank. In the 1970s he hosted a chat show for ATV, Lunchtime with Wogan, and has worked for BBC radio since 1969, presenting on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2.
Pictured Top and Middle: Sir Terry hosting the BBC Children In Need Telethon last year, Pictured Bottom: Dermot O’Leary at the BBC.