Every Children in Need single and where they charted on the Official Chart

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.

This year's Children in Need single - a cover of Oasis' Stop Crying Your Heart out by an all-star cast including Cher, Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams - is the charity's most successful release in years, currently competing for Number 1 on this week's Official Singles Chart.

Children in Need launched in 1980, but it wasn't until 1985 that the idea of releasing a single to raise money and awareness of the campaign came to be. It took a few years to catch on: 1985's single Almost Seems (Too Late to Turn) by Irish group Clannad peaked at Number 80, while a cover of David Bowie's Heroes by an all-star lineup called The County Line - featuring Suzi Quatro, Steve Hooker and Bronski Beat - failed to chart. 

The Official biggest Children in Need single

The Children in Need single didn't really get going until 1997, when a world-class lineup of performers including David Bowie, Elton John, Tom Jones, Gabrielle and Bono performed a rendition of Lou Reed's 1972 track Perfect Day.

The recording and its music video were originally pulled together by an advertising agency to promote the BBC's diverse music coverage at the time, but it proved so popular that it was given a full release, with proceeds going to Children in Need. The track debuted at Number 1 and spent three weeks at the summit.

Despite not being available on download or streaming services in the digital era, it remains the best-selling Children in Need single, with 1.54 million sales. Sales of the track have reportedly raised over £2 million.

More big hitters

The success of Perfect Day properly established the CIN single - the following nine years would see each annual release land in the Top 10, often competing for Number 1.

Big Breakfast dream team Denise van Outen and Johnny Vaughn (with some help from Steps on backing vocals) recreated Kylie & Jason's Especially For You in 1998, reaching Number 3, while S Club 7 scored two chart-toppers with CIN singles, 2000's Never Had A Dream Come True and Have You Ever in 2001. 


S Club 7 (Shutterstock/Rex)

Other notable hits include Ellie Goulding's Top 5 release How Long Will I Love You? from 2013 - the second biggest CIN single with 1.3 million chart sales - and Peter Kay's chart-topping Animated All Star Band from 2009 (456,000 chart sales). The most recent Number 1 was Gareth Malone's All Star Choir, who released a cover of Avicii's Wake Me Up in 2014.

The highest charting Children in Need singles

TITLE ARTIST YEAR YEAR
PERFECT DAY LOU REED & VARIOUS ARTISTS 1997 1
NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE S CLUB 7 2000 1
HAVE YOU EVER S CLUB 7 2001 1
I'LL STAND BY YOU GIRLS ALOUD 2004 1
THE OFFICIAL BBC CHILDREN IN NEED MEDLEY PETER KAY'S ANIMATED ALL STAR BAND 2009 1
LOVE YOU MORE JLS 2010 1
WAKE ME UP GARETH MALONE'S ALL STAR CHOIR 2014 1
DON'T LET ME DOWN/YOU AND I WILL YOUNG 2002 2
I'M YOUR MAN SHANE RICHIE 2003 2
SOMETHING NEW GIRLS ALOUD 2012 2
ESPECIALLY FOR YOU DENISE & JOHNNY 1998 3
DOWNTOWN EMMA BUNTON 2006 3
HOW LONG WILL I LOVE YOU ELLIE GOULDING 2013 3
LOVE ME MARTINE MCCUTCHEON 1999 6
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER LIBERTY X 2005 6
TAKE ME HOME JESS GLYNNE 2015 6
HEADLINES (FRIENDSHIP NEVER ENDS) SPICE GIRLS 2007 11
DO YA/STAY WITH ME MCFLY 2008 18
O' MY FATHER HAD A RABBIT RAY MOORE 1986 24
TEARDROP THE COLLECTIVVE 2011 24
FIELDS OF GOLD KATIE MELUA 2017 29
WHEN CHILDREN RULE THE WORLD RED HILL CHILDREN 1996 40
ALL WE NEEDED CRAIG DAVID 2016 42
IT TAKES TWO BRUNO BROOKES AND LIZ KERSHAW FT. JIVE BUNNY & LONDONBEAT 1989 53
LET'S DANCE BRUNO AND LIZ AND THE RADIO 1 DJ POSSE 1990 54
YOU BETTER BELIEVE IN (CHILDREN IN NEED) PATSY PALMER AND SID OWEN 1995 60
BOY EYED JOG RAY MOORE 1987 61
CHILDREN IN NEED SPIRIT OF PLAY WITH PAUL MCCARTNEY 1988 72
IF YOU WANT TO HELP BBC CHILDREN IN NEED CHOIR 1989 78
ALMOST SEEMS (TOO LATE TO TURN) CLANNAD 1985 80
HEROES THE COUNTY LINE 1986 NA
LOVE IS IN THE PICTURE JAMIE CULLUM 2018 NA
YELLOW JODIE WHITTAKER 2019 NA

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