Barra and Jo ‘Do Their Thing’ For BBC Children in Need

Barra and Jo ‘Do Their Thing’ For BBC Children in Need

BBC Radio Ulster and BBC One Northern Ireland • Monday 13 November to Friday 17 November

We all have something we’re good at, something we’ve always fancied doing or perhaps something we want to challenge ourselves to try to give up – for a while – all in the name of charity.

 Whatever your ‘thing’ is, why not give it a go by turning it into a fantastic fundraiser that will help change children’s lives throughout Northern Ireland?

 That’s the message from this year’s BBC Children in Need Appeal which takes places on Friday 17 November.

Launching this year’s appeal locally earlier today (Monday) were TV presenters Barra Best, Jo Scott.

The pair will be fronting this year’s local contributions to the appeal on BBC One Northern Ireland.

And getting into the spirit of ‘doing their thing’ for the appeal, Barra, a self-confessed social media fan, will go on a ‘digital detox’. So for 24 hours from 3pm on Wednesday 15 November until 24 hour later on Thursday 16 November Barra will not use his mobile phone for any social media activity.

He says: “To be perfectly honest doing the digital detox challenge is not going to be easy for me as I love my phone – but if I can do it, anyone can! So come on all you phone fanatics and join me. It’s just for one day and let’s help make a difference to the lives of children and young people here in Northern Ireland. Each year the public amazes me with the wild, wonderful and unique ways that they fundraise for the charity and I expect this year to be no different! Come on Northern Ireland, Do Your Thing and Jo and myself for BBC Children in Need.”

They say silence is golden and for fellow presenter Jo Scott, that will be just the case as she joins the ‘Zip It’ challenge remaining silent for four hours this Friday from 9.30am-1.30pm for the appeal.

Jo says: “Anyone who knows me, will tell you how much I love nothing more than a good old chat, so staying silent is going to be pretty tough for me. However I know my two children are going to be delighted as their Mum is quiet for once. And who knows maybe I can convince them to join me! So whether fancy dress, clothes swaps, fun runs, once in a lifetime challenges or bake sales are your thing, I would encourage everyone across Northern Ireland to join me and get creative and channel their passions into fundraising for BBC Children in Need.”

Throughout next week leading up to the big night BBC Radio Ulster will be looking at local projects which have benefitted from funding from the Appeal, as well as chatting with fundraisers across NI, culminating in the now annual ‘Hugo-thon’ hosted by Hugo Duncan live on his popular programme on Friday 17 November from 1.30-3pm.

The on-air auction, now in its 12th year, will offer a wide range of items all up for grabs to the highest bidder.

Barra Best and Jo Scott will be live from the Railway Gallery at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra for this year’s local television programme.

In London, Mel Giedroyc will be joining Graham Norton, Tess Daly, Ade Adepitan, Rochelle Humes and Marvin Humes in presenting BBC Children in Need’s 2017 Appeal show on BBC One.

 Coming live from the BBC’s Elstree studios on Friday 17 November from 7.30pm, the show will feature a spectacular star-studded line-up as they join together to help raise money for disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

One of the local highlights of the night will see over 180 young singers from schools across Northern Ireland joining thousands of others from throughout the UK to form a choir taking part in a nationwide live performance of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’. Joining in the chorus will be pupils from Regent House School, Newtownards, Fairview Primary School, Ballyclare; Holy Family Primary School, Londonderry; Erne Integrated College, Enniskillen and Killinchy Primary School.

Viewers across Northern Ireland will hear stories from local children and young people who have been supported by the BBC Children in Need charity here and will see the fun and unusual ways in which people have been raising money to make a difference this year.

Then on Sunday (November 19), Barra, Jo and Pudsey will be back for a special 60-minute programme on BBC One Northern Ireland from 4.50pm giving viewers the chance to see how the appeal benefits people right here in Northern Ireland in a show containing new and unique features, with musical  performances plus a few highlights from the Friday night extravaganza.

Sunday’s programme will also take an extended look back at how pupils from across Northern Ireland who took part in the nationwide performance of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’, prepared for their TV appearance and will feature performances from Jake Carter.

Last year’s on the night national total was £46.6m and in Northern Ireland it was £950,239.

 BBC Children in Need currently funds 200 projects across Northern Ireland with funding of more than £10.3million hard at work across the country. Supporting the charity this year would help fund even more projects just like SVP Mountainview Centre which uses a grant of £55,910, over three years, to deliver a specialist support project for children with additional needs. The project runs engaging play activities through a breakfast club, after school club, summer holiday sessions and a crèche which will be designed to challenge, develop and encourage the children that attend. Attending the project enables the children to build friendships, develop their confidence and learn new life skills.

To date the public across the UK have raised over £909 million for children and young people and the charity is calling on people to once again pull out all the stops and help make a difference.

The official fundraising pack is available for download now from and is bursting with ideas to inspire Do Your Thing fundraising ahead of the 38th Appeal show.

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