Fundraisers across the Portsmouth area played their part as the BBC’s annual Children in Need appeal soared to a new record.
The annual television extravaganza topped last year’s effort of £31 million raised on the night, bringing in £32,620,469 for disadvantaged children and young adults in the UK.
And across the Portsmouth area, fundraisers young and old joined in the fun.
Trainee Royal Marines musicians can often be spotted parading through Portsmouth Naval Base... but never before like this.
Workers stopped in their tracks as the familiar sounds of A Life On the Ocean Wave drifted towards them yesterday but the sight that greeted them was not that of the Royal Marines in their usual finery.
Marching towards them were Popeye, Captain America, Batman, and one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, accompanied by a variety of other spandex-clad comic book characters.
The trombone section was taken over by Thunderbirds, Spiderman showed his saxophone skills and Ironman took up the French horn.
Of course beneath the tights and masks were the trainee musicians of the world-class Royal Marines School of Music, having a bit of fun to raise money for Children in Need.
Military and civilian staff took a break from their day jobs to watch the unusual alliance of superheroes and donate cash to their cause.
Musician Luke Horobin, 21, who dressed as Superman, said: ‘It was fantastic.
‘Everyone who saw us was so positive and people were stopping what they were doing to watch us and coming over to donate.
‘Everybody has put in a tremendous effort for their costumes.’
The band raised £239 for Children In Need.
Warrant Officer 1 Bandmaster Simon Tripp said: ‘Everyone who supports Children in Need is a superhero, and the Royal Marines School of Music couldn’t resist the chance to throw on some tights and capes and add our particular brand of music to such an exciting day.’
More than 40 of the trainee musicians from the Royal Marines School of Music, which is located within Portsmouth Naval Base, took part in the superhero performance.
Musician Josh Flynn, 18, added: ‘It was a really enjoyable morning.
‘People have been really receptive and everyone has been coming out to have a look.
‘The costumes were amazing.’
The Royal Marines Band Service will be performing to the public – in their traditional uniforms this time – on Thursday at 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church in Fratton.
Call (023) 9272 6181 for details.
n There was also plenty of fundraising fun at schools across the area.
After years of selling merchandise for Children in Need, The Flying Bull Academy, Portsmouth, decided that this year they’d liven things up with an old-fashioned carnival.
As well as selling Pudsey charity bands, the staff were dressed up along with the students, who all came to school as their heroes in aid of National Heroes Day as well Children in Need. There was also a selected costume winner for each class.
The parents arrived at 2pm for the carnival, and were then joined at 3pm by the children when they finished school and stayed until 4.30pm.
There was a bouncy castle, hoopla, cake sales and a variety of other games.
All the money made went to Children in Need.
Barry Hewett-Dale, finance and grant director for The Flying Bull Academy and organiser of the event, said: ‘I’d like to say a big thank you to the parents of the students and the community who helped with this event.’
The parents and other people had cooked 15 cakes for the bake off, and donated hampers for prizes for the carnival. The school raised more than £750 for Children in Need.
And superheroes also made an appearance at Milton Park Primary School, in Southsea, where children dressed up for the day.
Headteacher Julie Smith said: ‘One pupil even dressed up as me which I am very pleased about.
‘We always try to support children’s charities and Children in Need is one of the main ones.
‘We always to talk to the children about where the money goes and the importance of supporting charities.’
The school raised £506.45.
Children from Harrison Primary School, in Fareham, were asked to dress up in yellow and spotty clothes, inspired by the charity’s mascot Pudsey Bear.
The pupils from the school on Harrison Road were taking part in this year’s Children in Need campaign and the youngsters and staff raised more then £400 to help disadvantaged children in the UK and all over the world.
Headteacher Carolyn Clarke said: ‘We believe everyone should have the opportunity to thrive.
‘Children in Need does a huge amount of good work.’
As well as wearing bright clothes a group of Year 6 children organised a cake sale, which was held after school.
Mrs Clarke added: ‘I am really proud. They completely organised it themselves in their own time, including the baking.’
From Superman to Spiderman, pupils at an infant school dressed as their favourite superhero to raise money.
A variety of heroes were on show at Alverstoke Infant School, in Ashburton Road, in Gosport, to raise money for Children in Need. The pupils were asked to dress up as their heroes as part of the annual fundraiser.
The superheroes raised more than £200 to help disadvantaged kids in the UK and around the world.
Headteacher Steph Greenwood said: ‘The children really enjoyed it.
‘They love dressing up.
‘We do quite a lot of work telling the children about those less fortunate than themselves.
‘It’s nice to see the children so willing to help other people.’
As well as the more conventional comic book superheroes, there were some other, more personal heroes the children decided to dress as.
One young boy grabbed a briefcase to dress up as his dad who he says is his biggest hero.
But students weren’t the only ones having fun with their costumes.
The teachers also got involved in the dressing up with Batman and Robin just two of the outfits.
Youngsters came to school in their pyjamas and omesies for Children in Need.
And while the children at Mayville High in Southsea looked like they were ready for bed, staff decided to take part in a 24-hour cycling relay. Around 30 teachers and support staff took it in turns to ride two static bikes from 8am yesterday until 8am today.
Jenny Lewis is the deputy head of the junior school and she organised the fundraiser.
‘The staff have been really supportive,’ she said. ‘It was a little harder to fill the graveyard shifts but we managed to fill them and we are hoping to raise as much money as we can. For the children it’s really important to realise that there are a lot of children even in our local community who are much worse off than they are. It makes them think a little more about other people.’
Pupil Erin Nocetti, 10, is in Year 6. She said: ‘Children in Need is really important because some people don’t have as much as us.’
Marjorie Smallcorn put her mayoral muscle to good use when she visited a women’s gym for Children in Need.
The Mayor of Havant enjoyed trying out the equipment at Energie Fitness for Women, in North Street, Havant.
Balloons and pictures of Pudsey Bear adorned the walls and a huge box of children’s toys stood in the centre of the gym.
The box was donated by Co-op Funeral Directors in Portsmouth and was handed over to Stuart Baldwin, chief executive of Smile Support and Care, which has just opened a new children’s respite centre in Waterlooville.
Mr Baldwin said: ‘The only word is magic - I can’t think of a better gift for the children.’
The day was organised by members Linda Tavener, 64, and Tina Somerville, 59, who dressed up for the occasion.
The gym raised more than £400 for Children in Need.
Cllr Smallcorn said: ‘It’s wonderful.’
The BBC’s star-studded TV marathon featured One Direction, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and the cast of EastEnders.
The show was hosted by Sir Terry Wogan, Tess Daly, Nick Grimshaw, Fearne Cotton and Rochelle Humes from pop group The Saturdays.
Sir Terry, who is Children In Need’s life president, said he was overwhelmed by another year of bumper donations.
“I am thunderstruck, astounded and just astonished at the generosity of the British public,” he told viewers and the live audience as the show wrapped up at 2am.
The annual charity event marked the return of Bruce Forsyth to the Strictly Come Dancing contest with a search to find a young ballroom champion.
The six-and-a-half-hour broadcast included special editions of popular programmes made especially for Children In Need. A new cartoon starring the famous Tom and Jerry formed part of the evening’s entertainment, while an edition of EastEnders included blasts from the past with appearances from former characters.
One Direction took to Albert Square to give the first performance of their latest single.
The evening also featured performances from celebrity guests including pop group S Club 7, who performed for the first time since 2003.
There were musical performances from Susan Boyle, Donny Osmond, Ronan Keating and Rixton.
On BBC2, the Chris Evans Breakfast Show carried out live auctions across the week with offers such as a Go Mad in Monaco trip and a Festive Foodie Package, raising £6.1 million.
Scottish businessman Sir Tom Hunter donated £1 million to the show’s funds, while Radio 2 offered listeners the chance to become DJs for the day by pledging money to play records on the BBC Children In Need Jukebox.
David Ramsden, chief executive of BBC Children In Need said: “People of the UK should be feeling incredibly proud of what has been achieved this evening. Their remarkable generosity will help us to change a lot of young lives.”
Tony Hall, BBC director general, said: “I’m delighted and proud that Children In Need has raised so much money for disadvantaged children this year. I’d like to thank the Great British public for all their donations, and our staff and stars for their hard work tonight and over the last few months. I know that the money raised will help make a real difference to children’s lives.”