The Official biggest selling Children In Need singles revealed

Children In Need has a colourful history when it comes to its charity single releases...

Charity single. Two words that can strike up both excitement and fear in pop fans.

On the one hand, an act is releasing a song for good cause and, more often than not, it gives them a sizeable hit and a another Top 10 in their discography. Popstars are a selfless bunch, aren't they? 

But sometimes, for whatever reason, the track fails to do its job.

Children In Need has a long and colourful history when it comes to its charity single releases. Plenty of them have been successful, and while a handful haven't fared quite so well, at the very least they've all raised awareness for the cause.

This year the honour goes to Katie Melua with her cover of Sting's Fields of Gold. Ahead of the big event on November 17, we're looking back and ranking the biggest selling CIN singles. The first Children In Need charity song was released in 1985, but they only starting gaining traction and reaching the Top 40 in 1996, so we're starting from then. Before we get to the list, let's look at some notable ones...

Martine McCutcheon - Love Me (1999)

We'll be honest, we'd forgotten about this one. Back in 1999 - and just months after she was tragically killed in Eastenders, Martine McCutcheon rose again and found success on the charts. The same year, she teamed up with Children In Need and released a cover of Bee Gees classic Love Me, a double A-side (remember those?) with Talking In You Sleep.

MORE: Look back at Martine McCutcheon's Official Chart history

The whole thing was a reasonable success, giving Martine her third straight Top 10 (peaking at 6) and selling 180,000 copies, finishing 11th place on the best sellers list. Watch Martine giving it some welly with her Children In Need performance that year: 

She didn't want that performance to end, did she?

Denise & Johnny - Especially For You (1998)

Big Breakfast dream team Denise van Outen and Johnny Vaughn recreated Kylie & Jason's Especially For You for 1998's CIN single. With an added boost from Steps (not that they needed it, of course), the track peaked at Number 3 on the Official Singles Chart, shifting 313,000 copies in total.  

S Club 7 - Never Had A Dream Come True/Have You Ever (2000/2001)

S Club had Childen In Need on lockdown in the early 00s. First up was the shimmering winter warmer Never Had A Dream Come True, which became their second UK chart-topper and only the second CIN single to reach the summit. It's the third biggest seller on the list with sales of 659,000.

They repeated the trick and topped the chart again the following year with Have You Ever, even breaking a record for most people singing a chorus at the same time (or something like that). Watch the performance back below - and look out for the S Club Juniors around the 1m50s mark...

And Number 1 is...

The Children In Need single that tops the lot is 1997's Perfect Day. Originally released by Lou Reed in 1972, the music legend re-recorded the track with a host of A-list talent including David Bowie, Elton John and Tom Jones along with a video to promote the BBC's diverse music coverage. 

The track proved so popular that it was eventually released in aid of Children In Need and went on to raise over £2 million. Perfect Day spent three non-consecutive weeks at Number 1 and has sold 1.54 million copies - impressive for a song that's not been available to download or stream in the digital era.

Still amazing, right? 

Other notable entries on the list include Ellie Goulding's How Long Will I Love You?, which places second with mega sales of 770,000, while Peter Kay's Animated All Star Band is fourth (452,000 sales). Girls Aloud place 9th and 14th with I'll Stand By You (235,000) and Something New (176,000) respectively, and Spice Girls' Headlines, well...

The best selling Children In Need singles are...

  TITLE ARTIST YEAR PEAK
1 PERFECT DAY LOU REED & VARIOUS ARTISTS 1997 1
2 HOW LONG WILL I LOVE YOU ELLIE GOULDING 2013 3
3 NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE S CLUB 7 2000 1
4 THE OFFICIAL BBC CHILDREN IN NEED MEDLEY PETER KAY'S ANIMATED ALL STAR BAND 2009 1
5 HAVE YOU EVER S CLUB 7 2001 1
6 LOVE YOU MORE JLS 2010 1
7 ESPECIALLY FOR YOU DENISE & JOHNNY 1998 3
8 I'M YOUR MAN SHANE RICHIE 2003 2
9 TAKE ME HOME JESS GLYNNE 2015 6
10 I'LL STAND BY YOU GIRLS ALOUD 2004 1
11 LOVE ME MARTINE MCCUTCHEON 1999 6
12 WAKE ME UP GARETH MALONE'S ALL STAR CHOIR 2014 1
13 SOMETHING NEW GIRLS ALOUD 2012 2
14 DON'T LET ME DOWN/YOU AND I WILL YOUNG 2002 2
15 DOWNTOWN EMMA BUNTON 2006 3
16 A NIGHT TO REMEMBER LIBERTY X 2005 6
17 HEADLINES (FRIENDSHIP NEVER ENDS) SPICE GIRLS 2007 11
18 DO YA/STAY WITH ME MCFLY 2008 18
19 TEARDROP THE COLLECTIVE 2011 24
20 WHEN CHILDREN RULE THE WORLD RED HILL CHILDREN 1996 40
21 ALL WE NEEDED CRAIG DAVID 2016 42

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Article Image: Rex