Selena Gomez and the robots of star wars helped raise $59 million (£37 million) during the BBC’s children in need telethon. Ellie Goulding, Helen Mirren, Tom Jones and Rod Stewart were also among the stars who featured in the six-and-half-hour spectacular, which has beaten last year’s (14) fundraising total of $52 million (£32.6 million).
Dermot O’Leary replaced Terry Wogan to host the event after the veteran TV presenter pulled out at the last minute due to health troubles. It was the first time Wogan has not hosted the fundraiser since its launch in 1980.
Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis, alongside Star Wars androids C3PO and R2-D2, led an all-star cast in a sketch which aimed to find the sci-fi saga’s ultimate fan. Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, The Hobbit star Martin Freeman and comedian Stephen Merchant all appeared in the skit in an attempt to convince Warwick that they are the number one fans of Star Wars.
Selena Gomez jetted in from the U.S. to take part in the show, performing her new track Same Old Love, and later in the evening, British pop star Ellie Goulding took to the stage with her latest single, Army. However, the telethon became mired in controversy as producers suffered a major backlash on social media after the hosts failed to acknowledge the terrifying terrorist attacks that were unfolding in Paris.
Co-host Nick Grimshaw made the first mention of the news just after midnight local time, saying, “We just want to say that our thoughts are with everyone tonight in Paris after the terrible events that have occurred there. Our prayers are with you and we’re sending lots of love to you, Paris.”
A BBC spokesperson told Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper that producers did not need to interrupt the Children in Need live broadcast as the events in Paris were being covered by the organisation’s 24-hour news channel. More than 120 people were killed in multiple terrorist attacks across the city on Friday night.