PUDSEY Bear has been out and about meeting Prudhoe children this week to see how the town is preparing to host Children in Need.

He met with children from Prudhoe West First School on Monday at the SCA Prudhoe Mill site, where they also met Pudsey’s new friend Kenny, a cuddly koala from SCA’s Cushelle brand.

This all comes in preparation for Friday, November 18, when BBC cameras will descend on Prudhoe Castle to host this year’s Children in Need.

Local fund-raisers are being invited to come along from 7pm to show off what they have done to raise money for the charity and people are welcome for a host of medieval activities.

And in preparation for the big event, the small group of year 3 and 4 pupils, along with Pudsey and Kenny, helped SCA canteen manager Kevin Marshall mix up his charity cupcakes, which will be sold to SCA staff over the next two weeks as well as to the public on the night itself.

Headteacher Carrie Davison said: “It’s an exciting thing to be happening in Prudhoe and the children are all really happy to be getting involved. At the school we will be having a funny hair day for Children in Need, and will also be taking part in an attempt to beat the world record for the most faces painted in a four-hour period, along with four other schools.”

Jane Gray, producer for the Children in Need programme, said: “It’s going to be an exciting night as we’re having a medieval theme, with lots of characters dressed up and activities taking place throughout the night.

“The Horrible Histories author Terry Deary will be there, which is also very fitting for the theme and will be an interesting guest. There will also be a Christmas market for people to look around.

“We film in different locations around the region each year to see what local people are doing for Children in Need, and Prudhoe Castle is a lovely location so we’re really happy to be heading there.”

The event will be presented by the BBC’s Colin Briggs, Paul Mooney and Alison Freeman, with Helen Richardson on BBC Radio Newcastle.

SCA is giving up its car park on the night for parking, while mini-buses are being provided by Adapt Community Transport to do shuttle runs up to the castle and back. And on Monday, the children, Pudsey and Kenny got a sneak peek at the Children in Need inspired buses that will be used on the night.

Cath Frost, who is co-ordinating SCA’s fund-raising activities at Prudhoe Mill, said: “It was great to have Pudsey come along with kids from Prudhoe West First School to launch our car parking operation – and, by coincidence, our own furry friend Kenny the Cushelle Koala was also here to lend a hand. Although the Castle is a great venue for the evening, it was built hundreds of years before parking spaces were invented – so we were delighted to be able to offer our car park to families attending Children in Need.