Children In Need is, in itself, a charity which raises money for unfortunate children in the UK.
Although the show as we know it today didn't begin airing until November 1980. Various radio appeals on behalf of the charity had aired since 1927 and then 'The Childrens Hour Christmas Appeal' aired, on Christmas Day in 1955, starting off the Children In Need Television campaigns, in between then and 1979, many famous faces of the time took to raising money for the charity, by hosting short 5 minute appeals, called 'Children In Need of Care'. Terry Wogan who has presented all of the telethons since they started in 1980, began with 2 of these appeals in 1978 and 1979.
Since November 1980, the BBC has broadcast the show as a telethon. The show was hosted by Terry Wogan, Esther Rantzen and Sue Lawley and unlike todays shows, were the shows are in 2 parts with a break for the news in between, was split into 6 parts around the schedule on the night.
The shows star an amalgamation of hundreds of TV Stars, Celebrities, Comedians and Musicians work, as they all pull together to entertain the British public, making sure that the message of why they're doing it is regularily emphasised.
Regular film inserts are featured showing stories from various needy children and how the viewers pledges can help them, alongside Celebrity supporters.
The show like the BBC's other fundraising telethon Comic Relief is often helped by many shows from ITV & Channel 4, over the years. The casts of Emmerdale, Coronation Street, How Clean Is Your House?, Birds of a Feather and EastEnders have all contributed with special mini-episodes featured within the main show, over the years.
The mascot of Children in Need Pudsey Bear first appeared in 1985 and he got his registered charity status in 1989.