Children in Need, BBC1

by | Nov 15, 2008 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

One of TV’s necessary evils passed with its usual cavalcade of single-plugging popsters, company-plugging businessmen, television imbeciles bursting into song and glittery dresses costing enough to support a charity for a week.

What was good about it?

• Some good causes got publicity and money.

• The musical medley from the EastEnders cast was well-produced and entertaining; The Bill’s rock’n’roll segment wasn’t bad, either.

• The junior version of Masterchef.

• McFly rockin’ it with Faces cover Stay With Me (we didn’t think much of Do Ya’, though), Girls Aloud and Enya.

• The performance from the Oliver musical made us feel like booking ticket, which is what the producers aimed to achieve, we guess.

• The Royle Family sketch was funny and too brief.

• The QI Children in Need special, with Ronni Ancona and, especially, David Mitchell being funny when they weren’t forced to be a little bit sad when the Baby P case was alluded to. Marred only by Wogan quibbling, wrongly, about a Eurovision fact.

What was bad about it?

• Tess Daly is one of TV’s multi-“purpose” nonentities and she couldn’t quite get the sincerity right, talking about terminal illness and child abuse in the same manner as she talks about a new Boyzone single. Terry Wogan was better with his usual schtick (but even he struggled to imbue the banter with Tess with any warmth or spontaneity) and we still love Fearne Cotton who got the occasional look-in from a corrdior.

• Alesha Dixon being common as muck as she swanned around the BT Tower in a red frock.

• Zoe Salmon shouting.

• The Stricly Come Dancing segment with Daly and Wogan (what, no Brucie?)

• Stephen Gateley’s disappearing face.

• The cardboard cheques (what’s a cheque, daddy?)

• The Osbournes’ video message.

• Someone from EastEnders performing You To me Are Everything.

• Gok Wan’s visit to Coronation Street was the most cringeworthy moment of the long, long night, but it wasn’t the only spoof that didn’t work: Merlin, Dr Who and Ashes to Ashes (with the hideous Richard Hammond) also flopped.

• Dull musical efforts from Jason Donovan (who was staggeringly bad), Duffy, Leon Jackson (you remember him, don’t you?), Take That, Katie Melua, Hairspray, Il Divo, Sugababes and some choirs.

• The BBC newsreaders singing Abba songs. We hate the showbizification of news and don’t need to see that spooky Susanna Reid parading around in orange or Nicholas Owen hamming it up like the vicar in the annual panto. Award for the biggest show-off goes, as usual, to Fiona Bruce.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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