It was a warm and pleasant day; perhaps a bit dull on the weather front but Wednesday 15th November was the day that Peter Rogers, the presenter of our daily Brunch til Lunch show met Pudsey. Sue Marchant from BBC Cambridge and Pudsey visited Huntingdon that day. They began their whistle stop tour by meeting our Mayor, Cllr Jay Dyne in the Town Hall and then walked through the market and High Street collecting for Children in Need to add to Pudsey’s special fundraising day and television extravaganza evening the following Friday.
Pudsey made his way with Sue and his ‘helper’ up to our Saxongate Studios to talk to Peter on the programme’s 10 minute interview. Of course, Pudsey only speaks to selected people and Sue Marchant is one of them. Peter interviewed them both at his regular 12.25pm morning interview spot. Peter asked Sue how Pudsey became the Children in Need mascot, as he wasn’t the iconic bear he has become at the beginning of the charity. Sue told Peter that it was in 1985 that designer Joanna Lane was invited by the BBC to revamp the charity’s logo. She just knew from the beginning of her deliberations and consultations with others that a Teddy Bear was what was needed and so Pudsey was born. The original Pudsey was different from the loveable character we know today as he had a sad face and BBC buttons down his front. Peter wanted to find out how Pudsey Bear got his name. Joanne realised that the bear had to have a name and so she chose something precious to her own childhood and upbringing in the North Yorkshire town of Pudsey. So he’s a Yorkshire bear.
Since 1980 when the Children In Need charity began, it has raised more than 600 million pounds and that’s not counting this year’s contribution. On the fundraising night this year the charity broke records for collecting on the evening and raised more than £50 million and that’s just for starters. More than a quarter more than the total for the night is usually received by the charity during the following year. Children in Need is one of the UK’s largest and most successful charities. Last year it gave £51m to 1,342 projects involving Children In Need.