Ed Sheeran kicks off BBC Children In Need with vibrant performance

BBC Children In Need has kicked off the 41st year of its annual fundraising show with a vibrant performance from Ed Sheeran.

The chart-topping singer took to the stage with his latest hit single Overpass Graffiti.

The show began with the children charity’s mascot Pudsey arriving at the studio in James Bond style, as he pulled up in a speedboat to the 007 theme tune.

The yellow bear was greeted by famous faces along the way, including news presenter Naga Munchetty, Welsh weatherman Owain Wyn Evans and England football star Harry Maguire.

The event is being hosted by a string of famous faces including Graham Norton, Mel Giedroyc, Alex Scott, Chris Ramsey and Ade Adepitan.

For the first time in 41 years, the show is being broadcast from Salford, Greater Manchester, and has the theme – Together We Can.

The first segment of the show saw Olympic and Paralympic athletes compete against one another in school sports day challenges including the sack race and egg and spoon race.

The stars – who included diver Matty Lee, cyclist and swimmer Dame Sarah Storey and gymnast Max Whitlock – were coached by broadcaster Clare Balding who acted as head of PE.

A music video by pop stars Niall Horan and Anne-Marie was then played as they covered Fleetwood Mac’s classic track Everywhere – which is Children In Need’s official single this year.