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Why Pudsey Bear is the BBC Children in Need mascot

Pudsey Bear, pictured with Tottenham Manager Mauricio Pochettino, is the most recognisable face of Children in Need (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

By Charlie Duffield

Pudsey Bear has become a well-recognised TV mascot and much-loved icon of the BBC charity Children in Need for years.

As the annual telethon returns to our screens on Friday November 15, Pudsey will be joined by a host of celebrities fundraising to help disadvantaged children and young people.

Last year a record-breaking £60.7 million was raised in just one night - so the stakes are high for Pudsey and his team to bring in even more donations this time round.

With his bright yellow fur and distinctive multi-coloured spotted bandana, Pudsey is always the star of the show.

Here’s how the official mascot of Children in Need was born.

Kylie Minogue, Charlotte Tilbury and BBC Children in Need's Pudsey Bear switch on the Covent Garden Christmas lights at Covent Garden on November 14, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

Where did Pudsey Bear come from?

The very first BBC broadcast appeal for children happened almost a century ago in 1927, with a five-minute radio broadcast on Christmas Day. In 1955, the first televised appeal was scheduled, as the Children’s Hour Christmas Appeal.

However, it wasn’t until 1985 that BBC designer Joanna Lane was asked to revamp the Children in Need logo.

Ms Lane told the BBC: "It was like a lightbulb moment for me. We were bouncing ideas off each other and I latched on to this idea of a teddy bear.

Read more: Everything you need to know about BBC Children in Need

"I immediately realised there was a huge potential for a mascot beyond the 2D logo.

"It was very important to me that whatever we came up with was something that young children could relate to."

Pudsey took his name from Ms Lane’s home town in Yorkshire, and quickly became a mainstay on the programme.

Ms Lane said: "I went to the production team and said, 'we need to name it'. So they turned around and said 'if you think it's important to name him, you do it'.

Rickie Haywood-Williams (L) and Melvin Odoom backstage at BBC Children In Need's 2018 appeal night at Elstree Studios on November 16, 2018 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

"It came from the heart - I looked to my own experience and named him in honour of my hometown and my grandparents."

He was introduced to the public by TV presenter Terry Wogan in 1985, but started out life with regular brown fur and circular buttons running down his front with the letters BBC spelt out. He also wore a red bandana with black triangles dotted across it.

What about Pudsey’s patch? There’s no official reason for the bear to wear his spotted bandana, but most have assumed it’s to convey that he is ‘in need’.

The bear we recognise today was created in 2007; he had all his buttons removed and his bandana became multi-coloured instead of pure red.

Pudsey Rabbit

In 2015, Pudsey Bear was subject to a brand makeover and became Pudsey Rabbit.

On April 1 the head of BBC Children in Need said: “Pudsey has been a bear for 30 years and has become a bit bored of honey, growling and doing bear related stuff. Also he’s always thought his ears were far too small.”

Pudsey was "unavailable to comment ", and luckily it turned out to be an elaborate hoax for April Fools’ Day!

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