Friday, 19 November 2010

Children In Need

This probably won't flow. I just felt the urge to write about it.

Today saw the annual Children In Need telethon. Every November BBC1 clears it's schedule for one night to put on a star-studded night of entertainment. In return they repeatedly ask you to call their hotline or go online to donate some of your hard earned money to help the more disadvantaged youngsters in the UK.

And when I'm finished writing this that is exactly what I'm going to do. Visit if you'd like to follow suit. I think you should. Here's why;

I'm nobody's idea of a sensitive bloke, but Children In Need affects me every year. I challenge anyone to listen to some of these kids stories and not feel suddenly overcome with an urge to do something to help. I don't like to think too much about how a child can end up so poor that their family cannot even afford a fridge, or a bed which is not infested with insects. Or of how a child with cerebal palsy can be bullied to the point of feeling a complete sense of worthlessness. Or even of how children as young as five can find themselves in the role of 'carer'. I just know it's all wrong and that through events like this there is something we can do to help.

The entertainment itself is mixed at best, but it's uplifting to see what kind of difference celebrities can make to young people, even in trying circumstances. JLS are musically rank, but if they possess the power to light up a child's face, to make them so excited that they scream and shout manically, then they're doing some good in the world. It's ever so easy for me to sit and sneer at them and their like, but to do so in these circumstances misses the point by a breathtaking margin. I'm even going to give Cheryl Cole a big pat on the back for her involvement. Although she was shite.

Not all celebritites have the power of JLS, but it is nice to see them try. John Barrowman disguised himself as a paramedic visiting a school to give a demonstration. When he removed the disguise to surprise twin girls they seemed to look at him as if he had just landed from Mars. There was a genuine moment where they did not seem to recognise him. Or if they did, they weren't impressed. Thankfully, he rescued the situation beautifully by informing the twins that they were about to meet the stars of the Harry Potter films, and attend the premiere of the first installment of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows. That Emma Watson's new hairstyle makes her look like a boy without a winkle hardly seems to matter.

While the Eastenders meets Coronation Street sketch could have been cut in half and still been twice as good, the script had genuinely funny moments in it and a clever ending. I'm not even that irritated by the crap interpretation of Bat Out Of Hell by the Hairy Bikers. And did you know that Dr Who sex-pot Karen Gillan and I share a phobia of moths? It's a sign and you know it.

But the highlight so far has to be the performance of Take That. It's the first time I've seen them perform live since Robbie Williams rejoined and I have to say it seemed a bit odd. There he was stood on one end almost breaking into a dance, but you got the feeling all along that he was just bursting to grab his microphone, move to the front and centre of the stage and start barking 'come on!' and bellowing about power chords. The showman in him looked as if it might have to be physically restrained. Meanwhile Jason Orange and Howard Donald missed notes badly, but Mark Owen seemed beside himself with joy at the prospect of finally getting to perform 'Never Forget' with five members.

As I leave you, Peter Andre is murdering Man In The Mirror. This is a great song made famous by the late Michael Jackson and I have a majestic cover performed by James Morrison on my MP3 player. Yet Andre's act of sacrilege is still not going to stop me going over to the BBC website right now and splurging a sizeable (for me) wedge for the cause.

Follow me. Please.

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