Tonight will see the return of the annual telethon BBC Children in Need, to transform the lives of disabled children and young people in Britain.

Held on the evening of 14 November, the night will be live from Albert Square, the home of EastEnders, with the likes of Sir Terry Wogan, Tess Daly, Fearne Cotton, Nick Grimshaw and The Saturdays star Rochelle Humes. Acts set to appear on the programme include One Direction.

Along with Red Nose Day and Sport Relief, Children in Need is one of the BBC's three largest British telethons, taking place at the Elstree Studios.

Since 1980, the charity has raised over £600 million to provide grants to projects in the UK which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged.

A Children in Need single is released each year, which has previously included S Club 7, Girls Aloud and the Spice Girls. This year's is a cover of Avicii's Wake Me Up, performed by Gareth Malone's All Star Choir – featuring Jo Brand and Linda Robson.

This year's programme will start at 7pm on BBC1.

When did Children in Need begin?

The annual telethons have been taking place since 1980, but the BBC's first broadcast charity appeal took place in 1927, in the form of a five-minute radio broadcast on Christmas Day. The appeal raised around £1,143 – approximately £27,150 by today's standards.

The very first televised appeal, called the Children's Hour Christmas Appeal, took place in 1955. Featuring puppeteer Harry Corbett and his puppet Sooty bear, it launched a series of annual Christmas television and radio appeals that raised over £625,000 until 1979. In 1978 and 1979, Terry Wogan began to feature in the appeals.

Children in Need held its first telethon in 1980, which was aimed at raising money for charities working with children in the UK. This was the first new format which continues to be used to this day, although smaller segments were lengthened to create a continuous programme.

Pudsey Bear
Pudsey first appeared in 1985 – 30 years after Children in Need made its first television appearance BBC

When did Pudsey Bear become the mascot?

Children in Need is famous for Pudsey Bear, the yellow, buttoned-up teddy bear which appears on the logo. The clue to its West Yorkshire origins is in the name, but the mascot was created by Joanna Lane, from the town near Leeds, who was working in the BBC's design department when she came up with the idea.

Having been asked to give the monochrome logo a facelift in 1984, she told BBC News that Pudsey had been a "lightbulb moment".

"We were bouncing ideas off each other and I latched on to this idea of a teddy bear," she said.

Originally, Pudsey Bear was brown, but was transformed over the decades to become the recognisable bright yellow mascot with the multi-coloured spotted bandage.