‘BBC Children in Need 2021’: air date, presenters, highlights, special guests and everything we know

BBC Children in Need 2021 presenters
Children in Need 2021 is almost here! (Image credit: BBC)

BBC Children in Need 2021 returns for a night full of fun and fundraising, jam-packed with exciting performances, special guests and, of course, some surprises along the way to entertain viewers.

To top off the epic evening, BBC Children in Need will be presented by some of the most famous names in showbiz to help raise money for children and young people across the UK facing different disadvantages. 

All of the money raised will go towards local charities and projects which are providing essential help and services to children and young people throughout the UK.

It doesn’t stop there though, as we’ll also receive extra special performances from global music sensation Ed Sheeran, and chart-topping artist Tom Grennan, who will be singing By Your Side with the help of schools singing along via video call. 

We’ll also have exciting highlights from some of the nation’s favourite shows, such as The Repair Shop, The Graham Norton Show, and I Can See Your Voice that will feature some of the UK’s most loved TV stars.

‘BBC Children in Need 2021’ air date 

BBC Children in Need will air on Friday Nov. 19 on BBC1 from 7pm-10pm. 

‘BBC Children in Need 2021’ presenters

Joining us live from the studio in Salford are presenters Ade Adepitan MBE, Mel Giedroyc, Graham Norton, Chris Ramsey, and Alex Scott MBE.

When asked what he loved most about presenting the evening of BBC Children in Need Ade said, "I love being part of it, and being involved in a big live show. There is so much going on, it’s really exciting. There is a real buzz, and BBC Children in Need is such a good cause."

‘BBC Children in Need 2021’ highlights

We’re in for a treat with some of these very special highlights involving some of our most well-loved TV shows:

BBC News and Sports journalists sing their hearts out for a special lip-sync round of the BBC One singing game show I Can See Your Voice, a teddy bear gets a new lease of life at The Repair Shop, Team GB and Paralympics GB get together to compete in a school sports day and CBBC presenters Sam and Mark take on the game show The Wall for this year’s BBC Children in Need Appeal show.”

More highlights include a Red Chair special on The Graham Norton Show and BBC Three’s Angels of the North, all welcoming some very special guests.

There is also a special episode of First Dates, that will see Coronation Street's Steve McDonald go on a blind date with EastEnders baddie Janine Butcher. But will the pair find love at first sight as the soaps cross over?! 

Graham Norton Red Chair special for 'BBC Children In Need'

BBC Children In Need Oti Mabuse in the Graham Norton Red Chair

(Image credit: BBC)

Oti Mabuse, Stephen Fry, Shaun Wallace, and Johnny Vegas are all taking on the infamous red chair in this special! And their fates are in the hands of a group of children who control the legendary lever.

A sports day like no other 

Team GB Olympians and ParalympicsGB take part in a fun school sports day

Team GB Olympians and ParalympicsGB take part in a fun school sports day for 'BBC Children In Need'. (Image credit: BBC/Andrew)

Team GB’s Olympians and ParalympicsGB will be going back to school for a fun sports day for BBC Children in Need!

Clare Balding will be taking on the role of PE teacher, equipped with her very own whistle and megaphone while two teams compete in the Sack Race, the Obstacle Race, The Tug of War and The Egg & Spoon Race.

On the Blue House team we have athletics and cycling gold medallist Kadeena Cox MBE, gold medal winning wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft, Modern Pentathlon gold medallist Joe Choong and Taekwondo silver medallist Lauren Williams. This team will be captained  by Tokyo gold medal gymnast Max Whitlock MBE.

Meanwhile, the Red House, will be captained by multi medal winning cyclist Dame Sarah Storey. Her team will consist of diving gold medallist Matty Lee, Paratriathlon gold medallist Lauren Steadman, BMX gold medallist Bethany Shriever and category F46 Javelin bronze medallist Hollie Arnold MBE.

Presenter Radzi Chinyanganya will be catching up with the athletes throughout the competition. Plus, former Olympic medallist and BBC Sport Commentator Steve Cram will be providing commentary for the school sports day.

Clare Balding said: “It was my dream come true becoming a PE teacher for the day and being kitted out with a megaphone and whistle. I think I’ve found my calling in life!”

Who will win the trophies and medals this time?

'BBC Children in Need' iconic puppet singalong 

Puppet Singalong

Some of the most well-loved TV puppet icons are doing the biggest singalong 'BBC Children in Need' have ever seen. (Image credit: BBC/Sally Mais)

The nation’s most popular and well-loved furry stars, puppets and childrens’ TV favourites will be coming together for the ultimate supergroup music video parody.

Bringing an element of nostalgia to the show, the all-star cast will have big household names such as, Basil Brush, Muffin the Mule, Zippy, George and Bungle, Scott and Virgil from Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlett and Captain Blue, Zig and Zag, CBBC’s Gordon the Gopher, Edd the Duck, Otis the Aardvark, Oucho, Stanley, Dodge and Hacker T Dog, Channel 5’s Milkshake Monkey, The Neighbour’s Cat from Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow, Zelda from Terrahawks, Mongrel’s Marion and Nelson, Larry the Lizard from Buffering, and Mr Blobby.

Together, they will have one of the biggest singalongs BBC Children in Need has ever witnessed.

'BBC Children in Need 2021' musical performances

As well as performances from Ed Sheeran and Tom Grennan, the cast of the UK Tour of 9 to 5 The Musical will take centre stage and for the very first time, a talented singer who has benefitted from the support of BBC Children in Need will give a touching solo performance. 

'BBC Children in Need' appeal films

Throughout the show, films of children across the UK will be broadcast to demonstrate the extraordinary and important work that BBC Children in Need do for children and young people who need it most.

BBC Children in Need 2021: Best Bits will air on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 2:50pm on BBC1 and BBC iPlayer.

How to donate to ‘BBC Children in Need 2021’

If you would like to donate and support this year’s BBC Children in Need, it’s easier than ever! To learn more about the charity or make a donation to help transform the lives of children and young people across the UK, visit: bbcchildreninneed.co.uk

• You can also call 0345 7 33 22 33 and make a donation over the phone. (Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply).

• You can donate on the phone or on the BBC Children in Need website. Use your debit or credit card, or your PayPal account.

• Pay in your fundraising money at all major banks, building societies, or the Post Office.

• Send a cheque or postal order to BBC Children in Need, PO Box 648, Salford, M5 0LB.

• To donate £5 text the word DONATE to 70405, to donate £10 text the word DONATE to 70410, to donate £20 text DONATE to 70420 or to donate £30 text DONATE to 70430. Texts will cost your donation plus your standard network message charge and all of your donation will go to BBC Children in Need. You must be 16 or over and have the bill payer‘s permission.

Text Services close at midnight on 30 November 2022. For full terms and more information visit bbc.co.uk/pudsey

Is there a trailer?

You can watch a short 30-second sneak peek below! Where we see a variety of different people doing sporting activities, along with the narration: “Whether you cycle, dance, bake, or simply donate to Children in Need, together, we can all make a difference to young people’s lives.” We also catch a glimpse of former Strictly pro and Strictly: It Takes Two host Janette Manrara.

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides, recaps and features for must-watch shows and delivers all the latest soap news and reactions. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.