It’s not often that someone manages to become synonymous with an event they are involved in but that’s what Sir Terry Wogan has achieved with Children in Need.
The affable host really does epitomise what this annual charity appeal is all about.
As one of the mainstays of the telethon he does a lot more than just encourage people to part with their hard-earned money.
And although it might be hard to imagine a time when Children in Need wasn’t the massive success it has become today, Sir Terry will certainly remember those early days.
The appeal is now part of the national psyche – but it wasn’t always that way. When this particular appeal was first launched in 1980 it was a much smaller affair.
Since then more than £500m has been raised for needy causes and that’s a staggering indication of how much its aims resonate with the public.
Of course, plenty of people can take credit for that fact. Those who work behind the scenes should take a bow as much of those who go in front of the cameras.
Yet Sir Terry has certainly been the linchpin, and by galvanising listeners to his Radio 2 breakfast show, he has helped establish Children in Need as an annual tradition.
While not everyone will enjoy the non-stop TV format – and the concept hasn’t been free from criticism in the past – it has undoubtedly paved the way for other charity events such as Comic Relief.
National days of giving do manage to bring people from all walks of life together.
On a local level we know that’s true because of the amazing success that we have seen Blue Day achieve.
So plenty of people will be getting involved in all sorts of wacky fundraising attempts today and we wish them well.
Digging deep isn’t always easy but we know that people will continue to give as much as they can.
And as the nation settles down to watch the events unfold on their televisions this evening, we know that the generous donations will continue long in to the night.