Terry Wogan has pulled out of presenting charity fundraiser Children In Need due to health reasons, the BBC have confirmed. The 77-year-old is reportedly undergoing a procedure on his back and has been advised by doctors not to host the show, which lasts for six-and-a half hours.
In a statement, Sir Terry said: "The British public, as always, will dig deep in their pockets and purses to help the country's disadvantaged children, knowing that every penny will go to those who need it most. I'm going to miss our wonderful, inspiring evening together, but I'll be with you, watching, cheering and donating to a magnificent cause."
Sir Terry, who is celebrating 50 years in broadcasting, was lined up to helm the TV event along with Nick Grimshaw, Tess Daly, Fearne Cotton and Rochelle Humes. With the charity marking its 35th anniversary, the veteran presenter had earlier said he intended to see the whole programme through from start to finish when it airs on Friday November 13.
However, in light of his health issues he said he was now leaving the show in the capable hands of his co-stars. "So, here we are on the 36th edition of Children In Need, every one of which I've been proud to present since it started in 1980, and for the first time, I won't be there, to cheer you on with word and gesture to another record-breaking year.
"The show will go on, bigger and better than ever, in the hands of my friends, Grimmy, Fearne, Rochelle and Tess," he concluded.
The star, who has been the face of the annual broadcast since it began in 1980, earlier described Children In Need as "the most important thing I've ever done in my career or I'll ever do. I have been doing it since the very beginning and the first telethon in 1980 raised a million pounds on the night. Since then we've raised £650million."
We're sorry to say @terry_wogan can't present our Appeal Show tomorrow. We won't let you down, Sir Terry. Get well soon!
— BBC Children in Need (@BBCCiN) November 12, 2015
A spokesperson for the BBC confirmed a replacement for Terry will be announced shortly adding: "We are so sorry that Terry won't be with us tomorrow night as we know how passionate he is about Children in Need. But we wish him a very speedy recovery and know he'll be watching from home and enjoying the show."
Fans and friends of the much--loved TV presenter took to Twitter to share their concerns following the news of his ill health.
The star-studded night which aims to raise funds for children's charities features a glittering line-up of performances and celebrity guests including a Strictly Come Dancing special involving the cast of Call the Midwife, the customary EastEnders special a Star Wars sequence with Lord Alan Sugar.
Children in Need airs on Friday 13 November on BBC1.
— Gaby Roslin (@GabyRoslin) November 12, 2015
I love Terry Wogan - kind, funny, humane #getbetter
— Jenny Eclair (@jennyeclair) November 12, 2015
Sir Terry Wogan has pulled out of presenting Children In Need tomorrow night due to health reasons-BBC. The first one he's missed since 1980
— Kevin Hughes (@Popprince) November 12, 2015