Some of the biggest names in rock and pop music will be flying in to Belfast for a special massive one-off gig in the Odyssey Arena tomorrow tonight (Friday 19 November), in aid of this year’s BBC Children In Need.

Westlife, The Script and Jedward will be performing in front of a crowd of over 7,000. Also confirmed for the gig are Twist and Pulse, General Fiasco, Caro, The Overtones and Hayley Westenra.

The massive concert is being hosted by John Daly and BBC Radio 1′s Reggie Yates.

This year, viewers in Northern Ireland will enjoy the show live from BBC Television Centre, presented by Sir Terry Wogan and Tess Daly, joining up with gigs across the United Kingdom, including the Odyssey Arena at key moments throughout the night, sharing some fantastic live music from Northern Ireland, as well as showing how money raised from last year’s appeal has been spent locally.

Tickets, for the Odyssey Arena concert, being tipped as the hottest gig in town, were all snapped up in hours.

However, viewers can tune in to the gig live on BBC Radio Ulster in the company of Ralph McLean and Lynette Fay, from 7pm.

And on Saturday (November 20), BBC Northern Ireland will show a special one-hour highlights programme from the Odyssey Arena gig.

Children In Need Rocks The Odyssey is on BBC One Northern Ireland at 5.30pm.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow night’s massive gig, John Daly said: “I am delighted to be part of Children in Need again this year, as it’s always a huge thrill to be part of a great night of live entertainment and what a fantastic line-up of artists we have performing on stage.

“We want as many people as possible to get on the phone and call in and pledge money for this year’s appeal. I know that there is not as much money around at the moment but every penny raised goes to projects here in Northern Ireland so this is a real opportunity to make a huge difference to the lives of children and young people throughout Northern Ireland. The Children in Need here have never been more in need – so get dialling!”

Reggie Yates added: “Being involved in Children in Need is a massive honour and the fact my involvement has a heavy music lean makes it all the more special. Apologies in advance to everyone at the Odyssey Arena for my really bad singing along to The Script!”

Earlier in the week, BBC Northern Ireland presenters took over Belfast restaurant – 27 Talbot Street – in a bid to raise as much money as possible for the appeal.

For one night only, Stephen Nolan led his hospitality “dream team” as he assumed the position in the kitchen as Head Chef. Stephen was tasked with creating his own menu and delivering three delicious courses for 70 hungry diners.

Joining Stephen as maître d’ for the night was Alan Simpson, who worked his charm on diners as they arrived for the evening’s entertainment.

A veritable feast of “expert” waiting and bar staff, including Kim Lenaghan, Cecilia Daly and Barra Best, with Noel Thompson acting as official paparazzo, completed this hospitality dream team. Highlights from the evening will be shown on tonight’s television programme.

Throughout the week, BBC Radio Ulster presenters have been supporting the appeal with updates on mad-cap fundraising events and how the money was spent locally to help projects across Northern Ireland during last year.

Hugo Duncan launched his on-air auction on Monday, which runs until Friday 19 November, which last year raised over £27,000 for the appeal and which, to date, has raised £11,719.

Hugo will also be hosting his show with guest performers live from Studio A, BBC Blackstaff Studios on Friday from 1.30-3pm, in the company of Jimmy Buckley, Crystal Swing, Warren Smyth, Tony Kerr, Boxcar Brian, Kenny Archer and Nathan Carter.

Last year on the night, in Northern Ireland alone, Children in Need raised over £623,000 for local projects. Thanks to the amazing generosity of the public across the UK, a record-breaking total of over £39 million was raised, of which £3.2m was used to fund over 200 projects throughout Northern Ireland.

To make a donation to Children in Need either call: 0345 7 33 22 33 (standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply) or log on to the Children in Need website.

The festival provides an opportunity for Northern Ireland’s young people to get hands on-experience in film making and understand how films are animated, directed, classified and promoted. Each year the festival uses film, television and all forms of moving image to entertain, educate, inspire and broaden understanding and awareness of the media industries among young people aged between 4-25 years.

It is now the largest children and young people’s film event in the UK and Ireland, engaging with over 500,000 young people and screening over 3,000 films. Thousands of young people have gone on to have very successful jobs in the industry.

Speaking at an awards ceremony to celebrate the work of the festival, the Minister said: “Through this festival, Cinemagic continues to inspire young people to find something exciting, create something new and do something different. It ensures our next generation think in new ways and bring new ideas and creativity to enrich our society and drive change.

“Cinemagic is designed for and by young people and is driven by their interests and enthusiasm and I am pleased that my Department has been able to provide support for this project. It is very important to spend time learning and making future plans when you are young, but equally important is taking time to reflect on your achievements. I welcome the opportunity to be here this evening to celebrate these achievements and I hope that Cinemagic will continue to thrive and celebrate another 20 years of success.”

The festival programme also included an array of preview screenings, workshops for schools, special film events, Q&A’s, a Cinemagic Young Filmmaker Competition, and a masterclasses in all aspects of television and filmmaking.

Kathleen Marshall will replace Paula Jack on the Review Team and their reporting timetable has been extended until June 2011.

David Ford said: “I sought views from the Review Team regarding its composition and timeframe and I listened to the points they raised. One was around perceived independence and to address that issue Kathleen Marshall will join the Team.

“As someone who has written and spoken extensively on children’s issues and served on a number of bodies concerned with the rights of children, Kathleen brings a wealth of experience to the role.”

The Minister thanked Paula Jack for her contribution to the initial workings of the Review Team and welcomed that as Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Agency, she will continue to be available to them in an advisory capacity.

David Ford said: “I have also agreed to extend the Review Team’s timetable by three months until June 2011.

“Since being elected Justice Minister, I have set out a wide ranging programme to reshape the justice system and this review will play a fundamental part of that agenda.”

November 2010
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