Ain't no party like it!

SUFFOLK picks up Pudsey fever as it sweeps the country during Children in Need today. Entertainments editor Jo Macdonald previews the star-studded concert that will be the centrepiece of the many events being held to support the BBC charity.For three hours the sounds of pop will echo round the town as S Club, S Club Juniors and Sarah Whatmore take to the stage in the car park outside Ipswich Town Football Club in Portman Road for the fundraising spectacular.

By Jo Macdonald

GET ready for a massive S Club party!

Tonight the stars arrive in town as Ipswich plays host to the region's Children in Need celebrations.

For three hours the sounds of pop will echo round the town as S Club, S Club Juniors and Sarah Whatmore take to the stage in the car park outside Ipswich Town Football Club in Portman Road for the fundraising spectacular.


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The action kicks off at 7pm and the Ipswich concert will go live to the nation on BBC1 for 20 minutes with performances from both the junior and senior S Club camps.

Up and coming girlband Charli, who are heading off to support Blue on tour on Saturday, will be next to entertain, when the show comes off air, before Pop Idol's Sarah Whatmore takes to the stage for one song.

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Essex boyband Heat will then perform, followed by another song courtesy of Sarah. Ipswich's representatives on the bill, Rosco, will round off the night.

The concert, one of only three taking place around the country, will be presented by Philippa Forrester with additional compering from BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy.

BBC Look East will also be making regular live broadcasts from the event with presenter Stewart White.

The charity event has been in the planning for most of the year and on Wednesday morning the months of organisation started to take shape when the trucks arrived and began off-loading equipment to build the stage.

Everyone involved with the event has been eagerly anticipating this day.

Kate Shiers, producer of the show in Ipswich, said: "Everything is so central to London it's nice to get different areas involved and making their mark.

"It's very exciting. You cannot get better than live."

Director Claire Popplewell added: "Last year was the first time we did these concerts and they were a huge success.

"So much money is raised in the regions so it's only fair we are able to do these events for them."

And after the success of Radio 1's One Big Sunday in Chantry Park earlier this year, Ipswich Borough Council are thrilled to be working with the BBC again.

"It's great fun – particularly on the back of One Big Sunday," said Ipswich Entertainments Manager Billy Brennan, We know that people are going to turn up and support it.

"And to be one of only three events in the country is a great honour. It gives a little bit of credibility to the town from the BBC's perspective, that we can do this successfully."

While fun will be the key word of the night, it is also about fundraising and the town and region doing their bit in helping beat last year's charity total of £25million.

Children in Need relies a lot on the goodwill, help and support of a lot of people, but rarely has trouble finding willing volunteers to do their bit.

Kate said: "Children in Need has got a very high profile and anybody and everybody wants to do their bit. Every year the programme as a whole is slicker and slicker and there is more entertainment.

"It's becoming a really good show and people are watching it for the right reasons. And it shows the commitment of bands and celebrities.

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