This year’s BBC Children in Need will air on Friday 13 November, and in celebration of its 40th year, Ade Adepitan MBE is hosting a one-off special documentary called Children in Need: 40 Fabulous Years.

Ade Adepitan
Image credit: BBC

Children in Need: 40 Fabulous Years, also to broadcast on BBC One, will celebrate the previous appeal shows in 40 bite-sized chunks, including the funniest and the greatest moments from the last four decades.

Presenter Ade Adepitan MBE will take viewers along a funny, poignant and revealing numerical tour across four decades of the charity’s history.

As Ade explains, Children in Need: 40 Fabulous Years is “not a countdown – Number 1 is no better than Number 40” but it is an assortment of bite sized snapshots of one of the most unpredictable nights in the TV calendar.

Ade, who has been presenting the programme since 2016, tells us more about how the programme has impacted on his life.

Children in Need


You’ve been a part of BBC Children in Need for many years. What does BBC Children in Need mean to you?

It means hope especially during tough times. It also fills me with pride and reminds me of the generosity of the public.

How has BBC Children in Need impacted your life personally?

My junior wheelchair basketball team received money from BBC Children in Need and some of that money went towards a basketball chair for me. This had a huge impact on my life.

What has been one of your greatest highlights of being part of BBC Children in Need throughout the years?

Going to the projects and seeing the impact the funding has on the children’s lives. The smiles on their faces when I see them reminds me of myself when I got my basketball chair.

“I want viewers to feel proud because BBC Children in Need belongs to all of us.”

What is your favourite element of the night?

I love the children’s choir – it’s always a special moment on the night.

Have there been any BBC Children in Need stories that have really moved you?

They all do.  A child’s life should be filled with joy, so it’s always heart-breaking to watch films about children who are dealing with pain and sadness.

After a difficult year for the world, how important do you think it is to look back at happier moments right now?

It’s so important for the state of the nation’s mental health to remember the happy moments and to know that together we can bring those days back.

What made you want to be a part of this documentary?

It’s so important for us to remember and understand the progarmme’s story, their 40-year history and how many communities they’ve supported and continue to support. I want viewers to feel proud because BBC Children in Need belongs to all of us.

What can we do to make sure BBC Children in Need has 40 more fabulous years and beyond?

By continuing to do what we do and more. Also, keep providing opportunities for those who have supported and been helped by BBC Children in Need to take ownership and give back when they feel in the right place to do so.

What can viewers expect when they tune into the documentary?

Viewers can expect heartfelt stories and a chance to see what we can do when we’re cared for, loved and given the opportunity to shine. This documentary is about us as a country and our compassion, our empathy, and our generosity. BBC Children in Need is the UK at its best!


Children in Need: 40 Fabulous Years will air on BBC One on Wednesday 4 November 2020 at 8pm.

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