philip_schofiledText Santa will return for its third year this Christmas on ITV.

Text Santa has become the annual charity fundraiser for the broadcaster who today announced the event will return in December 2013 to raise money and awareness for another six UK based charities. The appeal has raised nearly £10 million for charities since it started in 2011.

Hosts Ant & Dec, Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby and Christine Bleakley were joined by Paddy McGuinness for the 2012 live show, which was broadcast on 21st December and was watched by a peak audience of 6.2 million people. – ITV

UK based charities were invited to apply to become a Text Santa beneficiary earlier this year for 2013’s appeal and following a selection process, this years selection are, Age UK, Barnardo’s, BeatBullying, British Heart Foundation, CLIC Sargent and Help the Hospices.

ITV has previously had strong charity links. In 1974 it founded the Crossroads Care charity – funding the project for its first two years. It has become one of the biggest respite for carers organisations in the world. In 1980 Thames Television held a Thames Telethon, which later became a national event as the ITV Telethon with appeals in 1988, 1990 and 1992.

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