Northern Ireland

Record £818,000 raised in Northern Ireland for Children in Need

William Crawley hits Stephen Nolan with a cream pie
Image caption William Crawley hits Stephen Nolan with a cream pie to celebrate Children in Need

People in Northern Ireland have raised a total of £818,070 for Children in Need charities.

The figure is up from £793,858 which was raised last year.

Fundraising events - from pyjama parties to bake sales - took place on Friday. All the money raised in Northern Ireland will go to local projects.

Across the UK, a record total of £31m was raised this year.

Paddy Sloan, head of Children in Need Northern Ireland, said: "We're always absolutely delighted with the response we get from the public."

Friday night's BBC One Children in Need programme featured Sir Terry Wogan, Tess Daly, Fearne Cotton, Zoe Ball and Nick Grimshaw playing host to an array of stars.

The live extravaganza featured regular updates from around the UK with Claire McCollum and Gavin Andrews introducing the action from Northern Ireland from a live event in Blackstaff studios.

The duo gave viewers a taste of the ingenious and inventive ways local people have been fundraising for this year's appeal and also looked at some of the many local groups that have been supported by BBC Children in Need.

One of the highlights of the night saw 150 children from four local schools join more than 2,000 others from across the UK to form a choir taking part in a nationwide live performance of Gary Barlow's 'Sing'.

On Saturday, Claire, Gavin and Pudsey will be back for BBC Children in Need: The Best Bits - a one-hour special on BBC One Northern Ireland from 17:30 GMT giving viewers the chance to relive the highlights from Friday.

The programme will again meet some of those who fundraise for the charity, and look at several BBC Children in Need supported projects that have helped make a difference to the lives of local young people and their families.

These include an arts project in north Belfast; a children's hospice in Fermanagh; a centre in Ballycastle for children and young people with learning disabilities and educational needs; a drop-in centre in Londonderry for mothers and their children, and Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, who offer support to families.

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