THE BBC Children in Need coffers today passed the £20 million mark after a galaxy of stars turned out for the television extravaganza.
The £20,309,747 haul at the end of the telethon was just short of the amount raised at the same stage last year.
Featuring performances from acts including Peter Andre, Stereophonics and Alison Moyet as well as a troupe of newsreaders performing a Beyonce routine, host Terry Wogan described the night as "fantastic".
Bringing the 30th Children in Need appeal to a close, Wogan, flanked by co-hosts Alesha Dixon and Tess Daly, urged Britons to help beat last year's record-breaking #38 million total when more than £21 million was raised on the night.
The veteran broadcaster said: "Another fantastic fundraising effort. We didn’t get quite to £21 million but we got pretty close.
"By the time we give you the full total in a couple of months’ time I bet it’s got to be pretty close to what we made last year."
Earlier in the night, BBC newsreaders Kate Silverton, Susanna Reid, Sophie Raworth and Fiona Bruce braved a "bootylicious" dance routine, swapping pinstriped suits for bling as they performed Beyonce’s hits Crazy In Love and Single Ladies.
Silverton said later: "It was so out of our comfort zone, but it was worth it."
It appeared their risque performance had helped boost charity coffers - by 10.30pm fundraising had passed £15 million and £18 million by 1am.
Breakfast host Sian Williams had been rehearsing to join the Beyonce rendition with the other newsreaders but pulled out because her mother died this week, a BBC spokeswoman said.
Adrian Chiles served up an early highlight as he joined fellow presenters from the One Show with a gaudy rendition of Fame at Television Centre in a bid to smash last year’s fundraising total of £38 million.
Another unlikely sight was the Dragons’ Den team donning hard hats and overalls to help renovate a Children in Need community centre in London.
The cast of Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, EastEnders and West End show Avenue Q were also involved as the spectacular party for the long-running annual charity event.