Pop princesses Girls Aloud made their highly anticipated comeback during Friday night's Children in Need fundraising extravaganza. The five-piece girl band, made up of Cheryl Cole, Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Sarah Harding and Nadine Coyle, took to the stage in matching orange tulip dresses and performed together again after three years apart.
In October the ladies, who rose to fame after starring on Popstars the Rivals, announced a comeback tour and greatest hits album to mark their 10 years in the music industry.
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The girls sang their latest single Something New, which was also the BBC charity's official tune, for the first time on TV and then treated the enthusiastic crowd to a rendition of Beautiful Because You Love Me. But they were not the only quintet to cause a stir during the seven-hour-telethon, global superstars One Direction delighted the audience with a performance of While We're Young.
British stars Leona Lewis and Ellie Goulding also provided music for the show, which raised a record total of £26.7 million. David Ramsden, BBC Children in Need's chief executive, has promised: "this year's campaign is bigger and better than ever and people right across the country are coming together again to raise thousands that will help change the lives of disadvantaged children right here in the UK."
This year's show, which was broadcast from London's BBC Television Centre, was hosted by well-loved presenter Sir Terry Wogan as well as Tess Daly, Nick Grimshaw and Fearne Cotton, who is currently pregnant with her first child. A Strictly Come Dancing special also featured during the telethon, seeing memorable contestants Ann Widdecome and Russell Grant reunite with their dancing coaches for a one-off performance.
Business tsar Sir Alan Sugar also guest starred in a spoof scene from Eastenders. The Apprentice host was seen brandishing the CV of landlord Alfie Moon, played by Shane Richie, outside the iconic Queen Victoria pub.
Other celebrities began to get in the fundraising spirit over a month ago. Heidi Klum, Louise Redknapp and Caroline Flack collectively went 'BearFaced' and braved their close-ups without any makeup. The natural beauties rocked the nude look, wearing nothing on their face but the charity's official beauty spot – a Pudsey-style paw print.
Geri Halliwell and boy band Blue were also involved in building support over. The two were amongst other musicians such as Joe McElderry, Macy Gray and Alesha Dixon who took part in POP Goes the Musical. The initiative saw stars join the cast of well-known musicals, and surprising the theatre's audience members. Crowds were thrilled when Spice Girl Geri took to the stage, in a bowler hat and umbrella, to perform Singin' in the Rain with the show's leading man Adam Cooper.
Celebrities weren't the only ones getting involved with the charity this year. The Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips added a royal seal of approval to a special video that was screened during the fundraiser. Zara and her equestrian team mates from this summer's Olympic Games were seen dancing 'Gangnam Style' to the song by Korean pop sensation Psy.
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