Stars line up for Children In Need

Some of the biggest names in showbusiness will be asking people to dig deep tonight as this year's Children In Need charity spectacular gets under way.

Westlife, Geri Halliwell, S Club 7 and Atomic Kitten are among a host of stars who will be hoping to encourage the public to part with their cash and beat last year's total of £20 million.

Irish heart-throbs Westlife will get things under way, performing first in London before racing off to a private jet which will take them to Belfast where they are due to sing in the city centre.

There are also three massive regional concerts in Leicester, Portsmouth and Doncaster which are expected to attract more than 40,000 people.

A celebrity version of general knowledge show 15 to 1 will test the trivia of some of TV's top presenters, while members of the Holby City team go head to head with stars of Casualty in a medical quiz.

The evening's entertainment will also have a strong musical theme with performances from Cliff Richard, Russell Watson, Claire Sweeney and Des O'Connor.

Last year's Children In Need raised around £12 million on the night reaching in excess of £20 million in total.

S Club 7 launched this year's telephone donation line yesterday but pledges can also be made online and for the first time through television sets for digital cable and digital satellite viewers.

The festivities begin on BBC1 tonight at 7pm.

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