Millions raised for Text Santa charities

Published Friday, 20 December 2013
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The 2013 Text Santa appeal has so far raised over £4m for its selected charities - Age UK, Barnardo's, BeatBullying, British Heart Foundation, CLIC Sargent, and Help the Hospices.

Millions raised for Text Santa charities
Cheryl Cole visits the Rovers Return. (© ITV)

A host of famous faces lent their support in encouraging viewers to donate during the fundraiser on UTV, which was hosted by Ant & Dec, Phillip Schofield & Holly Willoughby and Paddy McGuinness & NI's Christine Bleakley.

One of the evening's highlights was former Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole's visit to The Rovers Return, were, in a sketch written especially for Text Santa, the Geordie arrived to pick up her good friend Tina McIntyre for a festive party.

Unfortunately Tina was unable to attend the get together and so set about trying to find Cheryl a new best friend.

Despite the efforts of Corrie favourites Dev Alahan, Sinead Tinker and Eva Price, Cheryl decided that Norris Cole was the one for her, especially considering they shared the same last name.

Speaking about her Corrie experience, Cheryl said: "(Coronation Street) has always been part of my life; we'd all watch it as kids every night. It's surreal to be part of something I've watched my whole life."

She added: "It's great to be able to support six wonderful charities and I really hope that this year's appeal makes a difference to many lives."

Prime Minister David Cameron also made an appearance on Friday evening as he was grilled by his toughest interviewers yet, little Ant and Dec.

Before the interview began, the cheeky duo presented the PM with a bottle-green jumper including a knitted pattern of Santa Claus, snowflakes and a Noel' message.

Accepting his gift, Mr Cameron said: "That is fantastic; it's my size too, you have got that absolutely right. It's fabulous, thank you very much indeed. That's really kind."

Little Ant and Dec soon began with their tough questions, asking if London Mayor Boris Johnson deserves any Christmas presents.

The Prime Minister joked: "If you think about it, Santa is quite jolly and fun and Boris is quite jolly and funny. And I don't think you have seen the two of them together and maybe there's something in that."

Throughout the night a number of chart stars performed on stage, including Robbie Williams, Gary Barlow, Olly Murs, McFly and the stars of ITV2's The Big Reunion.

The cast of Corrie returned for a special performance of 'Fairytale of Weatherfield' while the cast of Emmerdale also helped to raise money for Text Santa.

Ant and Dec hosted the first hour of the fundraiser and, in a bid to raise cash, were challenged to climb the 'Christmas Tree of Terror'.

Phillip and Holly got into the festive fun as they challenged I'm A Celebrity contestants Kian Egan and Joey Essex to a game of Catchphrase, with the help of presenter Stephen Mulhern.

No-one would have guessed that Joey would win the game, regardless of Kian's help.

Meanwhile Paddy McGuiness made a return to the Take Me Out studio as he hosted a special 'older generation' edition of the dating show.

Text Santa has so far raised £4, 187, 686 for charity, but viewers can still donate using JustTextGiving by Vodafone. The service is free on any network so 100% of the donation will go to the charities. Donations can also be made online at u.tv/textsanta.

The terms and conditions for the Text Santa Appeal 2013 Donation Service can be found here.

© UTV News
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