This is when Children in Need 2020 is on the BBC - and what to expect from the annual appeal show

We’re looking forward to Children in Need brightening up our TV screens once more.

The BBC’s annual appeal show, which is celebrating its 40th year, is back on Friday 13 November.

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It shines a light on the local charities and projects that help to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people from across the UK.

We’ve come to expect an entertaining programme filled with performances, games, celebrity appearances and special BBC shows – and this year, despite the unusual circumstances due to coronavirus, is set to be no different.

The fundraiser was started back in 1980, and since then it’s raised over £1 billion, becoming a household name thanks to the charity’s iconic mascot, Pudsey Bear.

Here’s everything you need to know about Children in Need 2020 - including what’s happening during the show, and how you can raise money for the cause.

When is Children in Need 2020?

This year’s show will air on BBC One on Friday 13 November at 7pm, live from a London studio.

What will happen on this year’s show?

Among this year’s highlights, a star-studded line-up of singers will cover the famous Oasis song Stop Crying Your Heart Out.

The charity version of the track, which was originally released in 2002, features Kylie Minogue, Cher, KSI, Bryan Adams, Nile Rodgers, Gregory Porter, Lenny Kravitz and Paloma Faith.

Children in Need announced celebrity partnerships in the lead up to the show, including presenter Laura Whitmore who launched the charity’s secondary schools campaign, Come As Yourself.

The initiative is all about encouraging pupils to embrace their own identities by wearing anything that allows them to express who they are, while raising vital funds for young people.

The charity also partnered with fitness teacher of the moment, Joe Wicks, who took part in a 24-hour PE challenge.

Wicks, known as The Body Coach, attempted a range of activities from cycling to boxing over the set time frame. He successfully completed his workout challenge on the morning of 13 November and raised more than £1 million for the appeal with his efforts.

Children in Need fans will be happy to know the much-loved Rickshaw Challenge is back for its 10th year.

A team of six young people, along with The One Show presenter Matt Baker, will ride the equivalent of Edinburgh to London - 332 miles - over eight days, although the challenge will take place within the grounds of Goodwood, Sussex due to Covid restrictions.

In a poignant section of the show, TV presenter Emma Willis will narrate Life in Lockdown, a short film showing young people living through difficult circumstances during the pandemic.

On the night, there will be plenty of celebrity appearances, including by the 2020 Strictly Come Dancing cast, Beverley Knight, and Shawn Mendes, as well as the cast of West End musical Six and comedy sketches by the stars of King Gary and The Goes Wrong Show.

Who is presenting this year’s show?

This year’s telethon is presented by actor and comedian Stephen Mangan, presenter and pundit Alex Scott MBE, comedian Chris Ramsey and presenter Mel Giedroyc.

Giedroyc, a former Bake Off Host, told the BBC: "It is an absolute honour for me to join the rest of the gang hosting a heart-warming, fabulous, surprising and entertaining show - it's going to be blooming brilliant and a dazzingly delightful night of top telly!"

How can I donate to Children in Need?

Donating to Children in Need is easy - simply visit the charity’s website and choose how much you’d like to put forward. It’s also possible to donate by text and phone and there will be plenty of opportunities to give money during the appeal broadcast.

It’s also possible to start your own fundraising for the initiative, through the Children in Need Act Your Age challenge.

All you need to do is take your age, the combined age of your friends, family and workmates or the age of someone special to you and turn it into a fundraiser.

That could be the distance you cover during an activity, the duration you do it for, the number of things you do or even your sponsorship target - and there’s free resources on the Children in Need site to get you started.

And, there’s the Annual Duck Race Sweepstake taking place across Children in Need’s website and social media channels.

Twenty pop-culture inspired rubber ducks will take off on the treacherous ride down a white water race track. For a small donation you will be given a duck to watch over the finish line.

Finally, you can arrange your own Children in Need fundraiser - some common ideas include sponsored walks, bake sales, head shaves and fancy dress days.

Where can I buy Pudsey Bear merchandise?

No Children in Need would be complete without the iconic yellow bear merchandise, and you can easily get your hands on some of your own via the charity’s Pudsey Shop.

Currently, there’s two Pudsey Ears available in yellow and ‘blush’, along with 2020 t-shirts, hats, tote bags, keyrings, and, of course, Pudsey Bear soft toys.

High street retailers have also partnered with the charity to sell merchandise, with ASDA offering the official 2020 t-shirts and Pudsey Ears available at Greggs and Boots.