Text Santa has raised the highest total ever at £8,383,361 as millions of viewers watched a night to remember on ITV.
In five years of fundraising, Text Santa has now raised over £29,000,000. This year’s proceeds will directly benefit three charities - Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish® UK and Save the Children as 100% of all money raised goes directly to the charities.
Peter Fincham, Director of ITV, said: “This is a fantastic achievement. I want to thank all ITV viewers and our partners who have donated so generously to the Text Santa appeal. All the money will go directly to this year’s charities Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish® UK and Save the Children and will make a real difference to the lives of those who rely on the charities’ support.”
This year viewers saw their favourite celebrities doing their bit in a Christmas knit as the three-hour TV spectacular marked the climax of Text Santa Christmas Jumper Day which encouraged everyone to get out their woolies, join in the festive fun and most importantly donate to Text Santa.
Highlights of the night included Coronation Street stars joined by special guest star Sir Richard Branson, Downton Abbey butler Carson fighting off competition from Sir Bruce Forsyth to fulfill his dream to become the Abbey’s Santa Claus and stars including Mark Wright and Torvill & Dean competing in a special Ninja Warrior UK episode.
A Text Santa edition of Big Star’s, Bigger Star saw stars and their parents instead of stars and their little ones and Stephen was surprised when his father Chris also arrived to take part.
Six moving charity films highlighting what the appeal is really all about were fronted by Julie Walters and Martin Clunes for Macmillan Cancer Support; Bradley Walsh and Ant & Dec for Make-A-Wish; and Amanda Holden and Myleene Klass for Save the Children.
Fronting the three-hour, live, fun-filled extravaganza was a mix of presenters from the ITV family including Christine Bleakley, Alesha Dixon, Caroline Flack, Amanda Holden, Paddy McGuinness, Stephen Mulhern, Olly Murs, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby - all of them doing their bit in a Christmas Knit.
There was music on the night when the stars of Emmerdale invited viewers to a singalong to Shakin’ Steven’s Merry Christmas Everyone and featured a special guest appearance by Louis Walsh.
The winner of this year’s The X Factor Louisa Johnson made her first post X Factor appearance performing Bob Dylan’s Forever Young. Host Olly Murs and Little Mix also performed encouraging donations to Text Santa’s charities.
Donations can still be made via the following platforms: To give £5 text SANTA5 to 70760; to give £10 text SANTA10 to 70760; to donate by phone call 0300 123 6060; or donate online at itv.com, stv.tv or u.tv.
This year the appeal inspired a whole army of fundraisers to raise more money than ever before. The money raised will go towards funding nurses and other essential workers so people affected by cancer get the support they need; granting wishes to enrich the lives of children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions and transforming children’s lives here and abroad to give hope to families in difficulty at Christmas.
Supporting Text Santa for 2015 are appeal partners Primark, who donated to the appeal for every Christmas Jumper sold from the 1st December to the 17th December. Other appeal partners included Papa John’s, Vodafone and department store Liberty.
You can give hope this Christmas by donating to Text Santa. 100% of your donations will be shared equally amongst Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish® UK and Save the Children, going directly to support vital work both in the UK and abroad.