Singer, presenter and actor Michael Ball has launched the search for the Sir Terry Wogan Fundraiser of the Year 2021 on his BBC Radio 2 show today.
The award recognises BBC Children in Need fundraisers “who have shown creativity, commitment and inspiration” while raising money for the charity. It was created as a tribute to the charity’s Life President, Sir Terry Wogan. It presented every year on the annual telethon show in his honour.
This is the first time that Radio 2 has opened the search for nominations for the award, now in its sixth year.
Michael Ball said: “It is a huge honour for me to take the helm of The Sir Terry Wogan Fundraiser of the Year Award on Radio 2. All the fundraisers for BBC Children in Need are brilliant and we thank every single one of them, but this award means we can discover those superheroes who go even further and deserve extra special recognition of their work. It is such a wonderful tribute to the legacy of the late, great, Sir Terry.”
Sir Terry’s son Mark Wogan said: “My father – as are we as a family – would be delighted about Radio 2’s support for The Sir Terry Wogan Fundraiser of the Year Award 2021. He always knew it was the dedicated army of fundraisers who were the beating heart of BBC Children in Need, a charity so close to his own heart. We’re so happy Michael Ball is taking up the mantle this year. Dad loved Michael and so do we.”
How to nominate someone
If you know of someone or a group of people who wold be a worth recipient, then nominations are now open and close at 11pm on 31 October 2021. Entries can be submitted online where you can find further information and full terms and conditions and privacy notice.
The judging panel this year includes Mark Wogan, Michael Ball, and Peter Davey (Appeal Show Executive Producer), Claire Hoyle (Director of Fundraising, CiN) and Emma Douglas (Senior Executive, CiN Supporter Care Team).
Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2, said: “Terry holds a very special place in our listeners’ hearts so I’m thrilled that, for the first time, Radio 2 will be launching The Sir Terry Wogan Fundraiser of the Year Award. Michael Ball is an incredible champion for those who put others before themselves and I’m so proud he’ll be leading the way for this Award on the network. We encourage all our listeners to send in their worthy nominees.”
Captain Tom and Michael Ball at number one
Michael Ball partnered last year with Captain Sir Tom Moore. The war veteran appeared on Michael’s show to talk about his little family challenge to raise £1,000 for health service charities by walking 100 lengths of his garden before his 100th birthday at the end of that month. When that didn’t go to plan and he ended up raising more than £32 million, Michael and he recorded a cover of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, which topped the charts, meaning that Captain Tom became the oldest person in the UK to achieve a number one single.
Past winners of the award
The inaugural award in 2016 was presented to 11 year old Lauchlan who, in his sixth year of fundraising for BBC Children in Need, performed as a living statue in shopping centres across Central Scotland.
In 2017, the award went to Ellie and Abbie Holloway who had fundraised for the charity for many years and, in 2017, took on a 50 mile walking challenge.
In 2018, the award went to long-time fundraiser Keeley Browse who put on annual charity gala nights for the whole community.
In 2019, siblings Austin and Esther, who undertook Quadrathlons, were awarded the accolade. Austin has muscular dystrophy, but is passionate about supporting other children and had in recent years, alongside his sister, raised over £6,000.
In 2020, long-term supporter Brian Pitt was surprised live on air. Thirty years ago, his son Stuart died the day before his 18th birthday. Whilst Stuart was in hospital, he’d placed a collection tin outside his door and told people they had to make a donation to BBC Children in Need before they could go in. After his ddeath, Brian decided to carry on fundraising in his son’s memory and has raised an astonishing amount for the charity over the years.
Sir Terry Wogan
Having been involved with BBC Children in Need since 2010 Sir Terry was made Life President of the charity in 2010.
He presented the first BBC Children in Need telethon on television in 1980 and hosted every appeal show until 2014. During his involvement the charity raised over £800 million.
Radio 2 is the UK’s “most listened to radio station”, with a weekly audience of 14.4 million (RAJAR Q1, 2020).
It has a long history of fundraising campaigns for BBC Children in Need. These have included:
- money-can’t-buy auctions in the Radio 2 Breakfast Show
- 2020’s Joe Wicks 24 Hour PE Challenge which raised over £2.5 million.
- Rylan’s The Great Ka-RY-oke 24 hour Challenge also in 2020, helping raise over £2 million.
- in 2018 Good Morning Sunday presenters Rev. Kate Bottley and Jason Mohammad took on a swimming challenge in the cold waters of Salford Quays.
- in 2020 the station helped create the official BBC Children in Need single, a reimagined cover of Oasis’ Stop Crying Your Heart Out, featuring the ‘BBC Radio 2 Allstars’, including Cher, Clean Bandit, Mel C, Jamie Cullum, Jess Glynne, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Lenny Kravitz, Kylie Minogue, Gregory Porter, Nile Rodgers, Jay Sean and Robbie Williams. The single, curated by Radio 2’s Head of Music, Jeff Smith, was recorded and filmed by artists in locations across the world and was produced by Grammy award winning producers Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling.