Listeners to BBC Radio 2 have defied the credit crunch for Children in Need, raising almost half a million pounds over four mornings.
For the last 23 years, Woolley and Wallis chairman, Paul Viney, has led an auction on Terry Wogan's flagship breakfast show where listeners are given the chance to bid for items that "Money can't buy". On offer this year were opportunities including a weekend with the Strictly Come Dancing team (£14,000), lunch with Joanna Lumley (£29,000) and dinner cooked by Raymond Blanc (£50,000).
Although the total was a far cry from the record-breaking £894,000 raised in 2007, it was only in 2006 that the half million total was breached, making last year's amount a welcome but staggering exception. The top bid in 2006 was also less than half this year's top price, which was £100,000 paid for a 45 minute masterclass with guitar legend, Mark Knopfler.
The generous bids this year were all the more welcome amidst early fears that the charitable venture would flounder in the face of the ongoing financial disruption, and Paul and Terry's spirits certainly remained high, as evidenced by this photo, courtesy of the BBC Radio Two website.