BBC Children in Need (also promoted as Plant Mewn Angen in Wales) is the BBC's UK charity. Since 1980 it has raised over £600 million to change the lives of disabled children and young people in the UK. One of the highlights is an annual telethon, held in November and televised on BBC One and BBC One HD from 7:30pm until 2am. "Pudsey Bear" is BBC Children in Need's mascot, whilst Terry Wogan is a long-standing host. BBC Children in Need is one of three high-profile British telethons, although the only charity belonging to the BBC, the other telethons being Red Nose Day and Sport Relief, both supporting the Comic Relief charity. Following the closure of Television Centre, the 2013 appeal took place at the BBC's Elstree Studios on Friday 15 November.
The mascot that fronts the Children in Need appeal is called "Pudsey Bear", created and named in 1985 by BBC graphic designer Joanna Ball. The bear was named after her hometown of Pudsey, West Yorkshire, where her grandfather was mayor. A reproduction of the bear mascot (made of vegetation) is in Pudsey park, near the town centre. Originally introduced for the 1985 appeal, Pudsey Bear was created as a triangular shaped logo, depicting a yellow-orange teddy bear with a circular head, semi-circular ears and a triangular bandana tied over one eye. The bandana was red, spotted with small black triangles. The mouth of the bear was an inverted semi-circle, depicting a sad expression. The lettering "BBC" appeared as 3 circular black buttons running vertically down the front of the bear, one capital letter on each, in white. Perpendicular to the buttons, the words "children-in-need" appeared in all lower case letters along the base of the trianglar outline. Accessibility for young readers, and people with disabilities including speech and reading challenges, were factors weighed by the designer Joanna Ball, specifically the "P" sound in "Pudsey" name, and the choice of all lower case sans serif letters for the logotype. The original design was adapted for various applications for use in the 1985 appeal, both 2D graphics and three-dimensional objects. Items using the original 1985 design included a filmed opening title sequence, using cartoon cell animation, a postage stamp, and a prototype soft toy, commissioned from a film and TV prop maker (citation). The original prototype soft toy was orange and reflected the circular shaped head and inverted mouth, which was then adapted for approximately 12 identical bears, one for each regional BBC Television Studio. These bears were numbered and tagged with the official logo and auctioned off as part of the appeal. The number 1 Pudsey Bear was allocated to the Leeds region. Joanna Lumley appeared with one of the soft toys during the opening of Blackpool Illuminations and named Pudsey Bear as the official mascot of the BBC Children in Need appeal.
In 1986, the logo was redesigned. Whilst retaining the concept of a teddy bear with a bandana over one eye, all other elements were changed. Specifically, the triangular elements of the underlying design were abandoned, as well as the corporate identity colour scheme was changed. The new bandana design was white with red spots, one of the buttons was removed and the logotype now appeared as building bricks, which spelled out "BBC CHILDREN IN NEED" in capital letters.
In 1997 Pudsey and the logo were redesigned again. This time Pudsey's bandana had multicoloured spots, and all of the buttons were removed. By 2009, Pudsey had been joined by another bear, a brown female bear named "Blush". She has a spotty bow with the pattern similar to Pudsey's bandana pattern, continuing into 2010. In 2013 Moshi Monsters introduced Pudsey as an In-Game item for 100 rox.