Dermot O'Leary to front Children In Need as Terry Wogan pulls out


Dermot O'Leary will be stepping into Sir Terry Wogan's shoes as Children In Need presenter tonight.

The 77-year-old veteran broadcaster pulled out of the show at the last minute on the advice of doctors following a procedure on his back.

But O'Leary is excited about his new role and said he cannot wait to get involved in the charity night.

He said: "It's a huge honour to be asked to step into Sir Terry's shoes tonight. He is one of my broadcasting heroes and has been a source of support for me down the years.

"I'd like to add my best wishes to Sir Terry for a speedy recovery, and I hope I do him justice and do my small part to make the night a success and make as much money as we can for disadvantaged children across the country."

The Radio 2 DJ will host the show on BBC One between 7.30pm and 10pm alongside Tess Daly and Fearne Cotton, before passing the baton on to Shane Richie on BBC Two at 10pm.

A BBC spokesman said: "We are incredibly grateful to Dermot for stepping in at such short notice but know he'll do us and Sir Terry proud."

Now in its 36th year, Sir Terry said he was "proud" to have been able to host the event in the past, and will be watching the six-and-a-half-hour show tonight.

He said: "The British public, as always, will dig deep in their pockets and purses to help the country's disadvantaged children, knowing that every penny will go to those who need it most.

"I'm going to miss our wonderful, inspiring evening together, but I'll be with you, watching, cheering and donating to a magnificent cause."

Since its launch in 1980, Pudsey the Bear and co have raised nearly £800 million for children's charities in the UK and supports 2,500 projects. In the last year alone, the charity has helped nearly half a million disadvantaged children.

One Direction and Dame Helen Mirren are among the stars hoping to make this year's Children In Need the biggest yet.

Other highlights will include guests such as former Doctor Who star David Tennant, Sherlock actor Martin Freeman, singer Ellie Goulding performing her new single, and pop star Jess Glynne, who will sing the official BBC Children In Need single, Take Me Home.

There will are also be an exclusive Star Wars sketch with C3PO and R2-D2 alongside Star Wars actor Warwick Davis, a one-off tour of TV history with comedian Harry Hill, and a Call The Midwife Strictly special.

More musical performances will come from stars including Rod Stewart, Selena Gomez, Years And Years, and Anastacia.

:: Children In Need airs at 7.30pm on BBC One.