Every year, since its launch in 1980, the UK’s national broadcaster BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has put on an annual telethon called Children in Need, literally raising tens of millions of pounds for deserving children all over the UK. Last year they helped over half a million children, but that’s only a fraction of the number of needy children they would like to be able to help. Lots of the UK’s biggest talent comes out to support the fundraiser that happens every November.
This year, Lucasfilm worked with the BBC to create a great sketch featuring Warwick Davis, R2-D2, and C-3PO (played by Simon Wilkie) to search for the Star Wars super-fan to give the first total of the evening. The sketch aired as part of the show on November 13, and can be viewed below.
The sketch includes guest appearances from radio presenter Sir Terry Wogan (and usual host of Children in Need), three time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, actor Martin Freeman, actor Danny Dyer from UK soap EastEnders, singer and performer Will.i.am, British Olympic medal-winning diver Tom Daly, entrepreneur and host of the UK version of The Apprentice, Lord Alan Sugar, Barbara Windsor (star of the Carry On films and EastEnders), Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins (a comedy duo and presenters of The Great British Bake Off), comedian and writer Stephen Merchant… and finally, BB-8!
The final segment was live (not part of the video) and features Davis, R2-D2, and C-3PO along with BB-8 arriving in the studio. It’s here that BB-8 gives the correct codes to reveal the first total of the evening: over £15 million. By the end of the evening, over £37 million was raised, and this total normally doubles after people donate at banks and other locations. You too can help UK Children In Need by donating.
It was a fun and entertaining sketch with some great cameos, including great performances, and whets our appetite for the new film, now only mere weeks away. Warwick Davis plays a yet unknown character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opening December 17 in the UK and December 18 in the US. See you there!
James Burns co-owns and runs Jedi News (with Mark Newbold) — the largest English-speaking Star Wars fan site in Europe — is the co-host of the UK-centric RADIO 1138 podcast, and is a regular contributor to Star Wars Insider and Build the Millennium Falcon magazines. You can also listen to James as part of the monthly Star Wars Collectors Cast, discussing all the latest Star Wars collecting news with Steve Sansweet, a fellow StarWars.com blogger, about the latest goings at Rancho Obi-Wan.