The total donations collected by the BBC's Children in Need is set to outstrip the £37 million raised last year.

Music, television and sports stars teamed up to raise money for children's charities in last night's seven-hour variety show.

A total of £20,991,216 had been raised at the end of the broadcast, higher than the £19 million haul achieved in 2007, making it likely that donations could outstrip last year's total.

The seven-hour entertainment marathon began with McFly performing their charity single Stay With Me and saw stars cater their performances to the theme - Do Something Different.

Some of the night's memorable events saw six BBC newsreaders present a medley of Abba hits in clothing from the 70s with the cast of Eastenders also taking to the stage later for a song and dance performance for charity.

The night's host Sir Terry Wogan also took part in a dance off with Tess Daly for the judges of Strictly Come Dancing.

The Sugababes, Take That, Leon Jackson, the Stereophonics, Alesha Dixon, Razorlight, Duffy, Il Divo, Jason Donovan and Russell Watson all performed on the night.

Girls Aloud, Will Young and the cast of Coronation Street also made appearances on the show.

Speaking about the event, BBC Children in Need chief executive David Ramsden said: "I am completely overwhelmed by the way the country has come together in support of BBC Children in Need, demonstrating such generosity in these tough times, and I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved.

"We can now focus our attention on finding more great projects that can change young lives for the better."

15/11/2008 10:37:16