Rylan raises over one million pounds for needy children

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Ross Richard Clark-Neal, an English television personality, voice over-narrator, singer and model known professionally as Rylan Clark-Neal, has now raised more than £1 million for Children In Need by singing non-stop karaoke for 24 hours.

The presenter belted out 231 songs, assisted by more than 90 celebrity guests, including Rick Astley, Nicole Scherzinger and Craig David.

He ate spoonfuls of honey every hour to keep his vocal cords coated – along with the occasional Pudsey donut.

“I am in such a state,” Clark-Neal said as he approached the end of the challenge on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t feel real. None of it feels real.”

In the last half hour of his challenge the star raised more than £200,000 – with the tally reaching £845,239 by the time he finished at 09:15 GMT.

“That’s unbelievable, thank you so much,” said the star.

Donations continued to flood in after Rylan took a well-deserved rest, taking the tally past the £1 million mark by Thursday morning.

“That sore throat today is totally worth it, @Rylan!” tweeted. “We are so incredibly proud to announce that we’ve hit ONE MILLION POUNDS £1,027,776 to be precise!”

The final grand total will be revealed during the Friday night’s Children In Need campaign.

Rylan’s challenge saw him duet with Dermot O’Leary on ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers’, rap with Trevor Nelson and DJ Spoony on a version of Rapper’s Delight, and dance with Strictly contestants Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard.

Rylan said he was inspired to keep singing by the memories of a recent visit to a Children In Need-funded youth club.

The star met the disadvantaged children helped by the Southend Association of Voluntary Services (Turning Tides) project in Essex – playing Hungry Hippos and taking part in arts and crafts lessons.

“It was amazing and, do you know what, I didn’t actually think about this when I signed up to do this,” said the star

“I didn’t really think that I would need that, but actually visiting the project and meeting all the kids and volunteers and speaking to them and understanding how much this money impacts their lives, when I am sort of dying at four o’clock in the morning trying to garble together a song I know what I’m doing it for now.”

His final song was Tina Turner’s The Best – for which he was joined by M People star Heather Small.

As it ended, the 31-year-old sank to the floor in relief and Zoe Ball played him the bells of St Margaret’s Church in his hometown of Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, which were ringing in his honour.

Rylan’s charity feat came eight months after Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman danced non-stop for 25 hours in aid of Comic Relief.

In 2017, Sara Cox also boogied for 24 hours in an 80’s Danceathon, while Dermot O’Leary kicked off the challenges in 2015 with another 24 hours of dance.

 

Olusola Akintonde