Cash rolls in for Children in Need

THE annual Children In Need television extravaganza was last night aiming for a record-breaking total as it raised millions of pounds for charity.Pop Idol winner Will Young launched the charity Telethon with a performance of The Sweetest Feeling.

THE annual Children In Need television extravaganza was last night aiming for a record-breaking total as it raised millions of pounds for charity.

Pop Idol winner Will Young launched the charity Telethon with a performance of The Sweetest Feeling.

The BBC1 epic, hosted by Terry Wogan and Gabby Roslin, was hoping to beat last year's record-breaking £25million total raised for children's charities. Just after 11pm, the figure stood at nearly £7m.

TV presenters, pop singers and soap stars were among those taking part. There were also outside broadcasts from around the country with a variety of stars explaining what was happening to raise money across the UK.


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However, there was disappointment in Ipswich when chart-toppers S Club were forced to pull out of a Children in Need concert because two members of the group were ill.

The concert was supposed to be held at Portman Road, but fans still had entertainment from the likes of S Club Juniors and singer Sarah Whatmore.

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Across the rest of east Suffolk, leg waxing, head shaving, fancy dress, teddy bears picnics and an appearance from the King of Rock'n'Roll himself were all part of the fund-raising fun.

One of the first activities yesterday saw Ipswich child care students at Suffolk College hold a tombola and cake stall, while appropriately dressed up as babies.

Elswhere, students from Otley College and staff from BBC Radio Suffolk volunteered to get their hands dirty as part of a challenge to makeover the garden at Wetheringsett VCP School, near Stowmarket.

Julie Rudkin, manager of the Tower Ramparts branch of the Ipswich Building Society, cycled a mile on an exercise bike for every pound that was donated to Children in Need while staff, dressed as pantomime characters, cheered her on.

BBC Radio Suffolk personality Bob Shelley bravely had his legs waxed at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre. Centre duty manager James Garrard and gym instructor Dave Bowen then followed suit.

Not to be outdone, five volunteers working at Btexact in Adastral Park, Martlesham, had various body parts stripped of hair for the good cause.

In keeping with the hairless theme, 30 people took part in a sponsored head shave at Hadleigh United Football Club.

Meanwhile, Alister Gourlay, head of St Mary's CEVA Primary School in Woodbridge, dressed as Elvis Presley – chest wig and all – to perform in front of pupils at morning assembly.

Pupils at Needham Market Middle School enjoyed a teddy bears' picnic for the cause, while many schools had non-uniform days.

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