Children In Need
Eddie Redmayne lead a cast of thousands who pledged their support for Children in Need BBC/Children In Need

This year's Children In Need featured a host of stars who gave their time and energy to raise money for disadvantaged children, hospices and child support services across the country.

Recounting the heartbreaking stories of young children and their families who have overcome insurmountable circumstances and personal tragedies with the help of the money raised by the charity, celebrities such as Little Mix, Michael Buble, Eddie Redmayne, Jamie Dornan, Take That, Ellie Goulding, Olly Murs, Dr Who and the cast of Eastenders provided light relief during an emotional evening.

Aiming to top the £37 million donated by the public last year, Britain's favourite celebrities stepped up for an evening of entertainment dedicated to helping children everywhere.

The Eastenders cast performance is an annual highlight of the event and in this year's offering the residents of Albert Square put on a dazzling display of dance.

In a medley of classic songs from Flashdance , Fame and Dirty Dancing, Bonnie Langford (Carmel), Shona McGarty (Whitney Dean) Lorna Fitzgerald (Abi Branning) , Richard Blackwood, (Vincent) and Annette Badland (Babe) donned their leg-warmers for an eighties throwback.

Putting their best foot forward the Strictly Come Dancing team brought out the glitterball for the occasion, and for once the judges were generous in their critiques of the competitors.

Up against British Olympians Joe Clarke, Helen Glover and Hollie Webb, Lutalo Muhammad and Karen Hauer were declared the winners of the Children In Need Strictly special.

Pop stars too showed their support with Little Mix surprising some deserving young people while there were musical offerings from Take That, Olly Murs, Ellie Goulding and Michael Buble and Craig David performed this year's charity single All We Needed.

Featuring a teaser of Dr. Who's keenly anticipated Christmas special, the show also saw some of the biggest British stars from the acting world show their support in a series of skits and sketches.

Pudsey superfan Jamie Dornan found himself surrounded by hundreds of yellow bears as Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them star Eddie Redmayne led a cast of thousands in a star-studded sketch that included singer Britney Spears, former Great British Bake Off stars Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, Peter Capaldi as Dr Who, Simon Cowell and Sir Alan Sugar.

The Oscar-winning actor said he was honoured to be part of Children In Need. "I have such fond memories of Children in Need – growing up, I loved watching all the special sketches and performances, and, of course, Sir Terry Wogan's inimitable presenting," he said.

"It is a charity very close to my heart so you can only imagine how chuffed I was to be asked to do a special sketch for this year. I can't wait for you all to see what we have in store."

Of course, Children In Need is synonymous with Sir Terry Wogan who hosted the show for over twenty years. It's the first Children InNeed since the death of Sir Terry, in January. Paying tribute to the much-loved TV and radio star, host Tess Daly, who was joined by Radio One DJ Greg James, said: "We will all miss looking at his lovely face with that ever-present cheeky glint in his eye, him constantly cracking jokes, never taking proceedings too seriously."

Announcing a lasting legacy in honour of Sir Terry, Graham Norton revealed a Pudsey bear trophy that would annually be presented to the fundraiser of the year who had gone the extra mile for Children in Need.

The winner of the inaugural award was Lauchlan Muir from West Lothian, Scotland, a boy who raises funds by being a "human statue".

Presenting the award was Sir Terry's son Mark Wogan, who said that Children In Need was a highlight of his father's career.

"It was what he looked forward to most in the year," he explained. "He said he was just one part of a massive team. It was always about helping the children for him.

"On a personal note I'd like to thank everyone for their letters and messages of support and the BBC for all their tributes," he added.

You can donate £20 to Children in Need by texting DONATE to 70420. You can also call 03457 33 22 33 or donate online at