ITV’s Text Santa telethon raises over £8,000,000

ITV Text Santa

Last night saw Text Santa raise the highest total ever at £8,383,361 as millions of viewers watched the annual telethon on ITV, STV and UTV across the UK.

“This is a fantastic achievement. I want to thank all ITV viewers and our partners who have donated so generously to the Text Santa appeal. All the money will go directly to this year’s charities Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish® UK and Save the Children and will make a real difference to the lives of those who rely on the charities’ support.” – Peter Fincham, Director of ITV

In five years of fundraising, Text Santa has now raised over £29,000,000. This year’s proceeds will directly benefit three charities Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish® UK and Save the Children as 100% of all money raised goes directly to the charities.

The star-studded show was packed with surprises for audience and presenters, live music performances, and emotional true-life charity films. This year viewers saw their favourite celebrities doing their bit in a Christmas knit as the three-hour TV spectacular marked the climax of Text Santa Christmas Jumper Day which encouraged everyone to get out their woolies, join in the festive fun and most importantly donate to Text Santa.

Highlights of the night included Coronation Street stars joined by special guest star Sir Richard Branson in a time travel themed sketch which saw some of today’s stars morph into iconic characters of old including Annie Walker, Elsie Tanner and Albert Tatlock.

In Downton Abbey, butler Carson fulfilled his dream to become the Abbey’s Santa Claus fighting off competition from Sir Bruce Forsyth, Gordon Ramsay, Gok Wan, Brenda Blethyn as Vera, Jim Broadbent, Michelle Keegan and Warwick Davis while stars competed in a special Ninja Warrior UK episode to win money for the appeal. Olympian Louise Hazel emerged victorious beating off the competition Kimberly Wyatt; Gemma Atkinson; Mark Wright; Torvill & Dean; Carl Froch; Marvin Humes; Ryan Thomas and Ugo Monye.

Sir Bruce Forsyth - ITV Text Santa Downton Abbey Special

Simon Cowell and The X Factor judges did their bit in a Christmas Knit, wearing their Christmas jumpers as well as Paddy McGuinness making a Guinness world record title as he successfully put on the most Christmas  jumpers in a minute and managed to raise £11,000 by wearing 11 jumpers all at once.

Six charity films were shown, highlighting what the appeal is really all about. The films were fronted by Julie Walters and Martin Clunes for Macmillan Cancer Support; Bradley Walsh and Ant & Dec for Make-A-Wish; and Amanda Holden and Myleene Klass for Save the Children.

Fronting the three-hour, live, fun-filled extravaganza was a mix of presenters from the ITV family including Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden from Britain’s Got Talent, Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness, Stephen Mulhern from Catchphrase, The X Factor’s Olly Murs and from This Morning Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

There was music on the night when the stars of Emmerdale invited viewers to a singalong to Shakin’ Steven’s Merry Christmas Everyone and featured a special guest appearance by Louis Walsh. The winner of this year’s The X Factor Louisa Johnson made her first post winners show appearance performing Bob Dylan’s Forever Young. Host Olly Murs and Little Mix also performed encouraging donations to the telethon.

There were also special Text Santa Christmas Jumper Day messages delivered by a host of famous faces including actors Jack Black and Elijah Wood; comedians Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer and Jo Brand; groups and singers Rod Stewart, One Direction and The Osmonds; presenters Jonathan Ross, and Paul O’Grady; and Strictly Come Dancing’s head judge Len Goodman.

During the day on the 18th December the ITV schedule was all about Text Santa with special one-off editions of ITV favourites The Chase, Tipping Point, Jeremy Kyle and 1000 Heartbeats.

Donations can still be made via the following platforms: To give £5 text SANTA5 to 70760; to give £10 text SANTA10 to 70760; to donate by phone call 0300 123 6060; or donate online. Go to, and for terms & full charity details.

Text Santa

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