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BBC Children in Need 2023 – what to expect

BBC Children in Need returns to MediaCity this evening for its live show from dock10 studios.

The 3-hour live programme raises vital funds for children & young people .

This year’s presenters are Ade Adepitan MBE, Mel Giedroyc, Jason Manford, Chris Ramsey, Lenny Rush and Alex Scott. 14-year-old Rush, who made his breakthrough in Am I Being Reasonable and Dodger, will be its first ever child host.

Rush also appeared in Doctor Who, which neatly segues into the exclusive scene which will air tonight. It will feature David Tennant alongside a mysterious new character, played by actor and comedian Mawaan Rizwan.

It’s been written by Doctor Who showrunner, Russell T Davies specially for BBC Children in Need.

Tonight will also answer the question that’s been hanging over MasterChef since its inception – which is the best puppet cook? Basil Brush, Zippy and George from Rainbow, Hacker T Dog and Dodge, and Tinky Winky will be seeking to impress John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

Over the Pennines, the race is on, as EastEnders, Ian and Cindy Beale (Adam Woodyatt and Michelle Collins) race against Birds of a Feather’s Dorien and Tracey (Lesley Joseph and Linda Robson) and Waterloo Road’s Noel and Samia (Liam Scholes and Priyasasha Kumari) take on Race Across Yorkshire.

Following the rules of Race Across The World, they have limited budget, no mobile phones, or credit cards. Their destination – Pudsey in West Yorkshire, of course.

Special guests will include Emmerdale’s Kim Tate, Marlon Dingle and Cain Dingle, Bradford’s very own Gareth Gates, Wakefield’s Jane McDonald and one half of Rotherham’s legendary Chuckle Brothers, Paul Chuckle.

On the live show at dock10, there will be performances from JERUB; the UK’s Junior Eurovision act STAND UNIQU3; Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne; the cast of I Should Be So Lucky (featuring a “very special duo”), West-End musical star Merryl Ansah; and the BBC Children in Need Choir.

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