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Lorraine Kelly returns for extra special awards ceremony

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The STV Children’s Appeal 2021 returns later this week

The STV Children’s Appeal has announced that its annual TV fundraising event will return for 2021 on Friday (29 October), with long-term host Lorraine Kelly back at the helm as the charity appeal celebrates its tenth birthday.

Viewers can expect The STV Children’s Appeal 2021 to look a little different from previous shows as, for the first time, it will be hosted at Kilmarnock-based performing arts academy CentreStage – a charity with a close, enduring relationship with the Appeal.

CentreStage’s recent move to new headquarters on the site of the former Kilmarnock Academy “wouldn’t have happened” without the support of the STV Children’s Appeal, according to the charity’s founder, Fiona McKenzie.

Friday’s show will see Lorraine meeting some of the many people who benefit from CentreStage’s activities and discovering why it has proven a lifeline for the local community. The show will also feature a rousing live performance from the 60-strong CentreStage Choir, made up of local people from all backgrounds, circumstances and abilities.

Elsewhere, The STV Children’s Appeal 2021 will put the spotlight on some of the community heroes up and down the country who have raised thousands for the appeal in its tenth year – with one young musical duo set to receive a huge surprise from Simon Cowell in response to their impressive fundraising work.

BBC Radio 1’s Jordan North will take part in a special edition of Celebrity Catchphrase, while First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also chats to Lorraine about the importance of the appeal and why she continues to be “delighted to support it”. 

STV is also set to air a one-off documentary on Tuesday (26 October) focused on how the Covid pandemic has impacted youth mental health across Scotland. Where’s Your Head At? – presented by Andrea Brymer – will share the stories of young people who have been particularly affected by the mental health crisis. Earlier this year, the STV Children’s Appeal distributed £152,000 to charities supporting the mental wellbeing of Scotland’s young people.

Lorraine Kelly said: “This year’s STV Children’s Appeal show is going to be extra special, as we’re broadcasting direct from one of the amazing charities that the Appeal has supported over the last 10 years.

“Being in the heart of a community that really benefits from the unwavering generosity of the Scottish people year after year makes the show even more authentic, and reminds us all why the work of the Appeal to tackle child poverty continues to be so important 10 years on.”

Paul Mathieson, CentreStage chief executive, said: "It’s a pleasure to welcome the STV Children’s Appeal to CentreStage and to host this year’s show. Our long-standing relationship with the Appeal has allowed us to provide significant support and opportunities to so many children and families across our local communities. On behalf of the full team at CentreStage, I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved.”

The STV Children’s Appeal 2021 airs on STV at 8:30pm on Friday 29 October. Viewers can donate £10 to the STV Children’s Appeal by texting TEN to 70607