Tissues ready for DIY SOS Children in Need Special

Thursday: DIY SOS (BBC1, 9pm)
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It’s become an annual tradition for a Radio 2 DJ to take part in a big challenge to support Children in Need.

Last year, Scott Mills spent 24 hours on a treadmill, and this year, relative new boy Vernon Kay, who stepped into Ken Bruce’s vacated mid-morning slot in May, is taking on a gruelling ultramarathon challenge.

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However, that doesn’t mean that Mills gets to put his feet up this time around, as he’s doing his bit for the charity fundraiser by pitching in on the DIY SOS Children in Need Special.

Scott Mills, Pudsey and Nick KnowlesScott Mills, Pudsey and Nick Knowles
Scott Mills, Pudsey and Nick Knowles

It’s the second time that Mills has joined Nick Knowles and co, and he thinks the crossover makes sense. The DJ says: “Everyone just loves a collaboration don’t they? – and this one is a perfect match!

“At Radio 2 we have always been big fans of DIY SOS and the station are huge supporters of BBC Children in Need too – as you’ll know from all the of challenges they have the presenters doing each year. I’m never getting on a treadmill again after last year, I still have blisters.”

Don’t be fooled into thinking that DIY SOS is the easy option though. The Mills says: “Last year I was the new boy , therefore I was the apprentice on the build. This year a lot has changed. You’ll have to watch to find out, but let’s just say you can learn a LOT in 12 months!

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“Let’s just say I have never had anything to fall back on until now – so if the radio thing doesn’t work out…”

It’s good that Mills’ building skills have improved, as he’s helping out on a very worthy project in Risley, Derbyshire.

Nick Knowles explains: “Treetops Hospice is a hospice for adults with life-limiting illnesses, but their funding from BBC Children in Need over the last 10 years has meant they have been able to develop as a leading bereavement counselling service for children in Derbyshire – specifically for children who are facing a traumatic bereavement, so they could have lost someone very suddenly or under traumatic circumstances.

“Treetops did deliver this support in one of their current buildings, but it wasn’t quite fit for purpose and a little bit too clinical for children.”

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So, with the help of other Radio 2 stars, including Richie Anderson, Zoe Ball, Rev Kate Bottley, Scott Jeremy Vine and Owain Wyn Evans, as well as local tradespeople, the DIY SOS team are creating something more suitable.

Nick says: “I think with this build especially, everyone has experience of bereavement including people on our team and those volunteering, so it is one that’s really close to people’s hearts and you can see that in the programme. It is very emotional. Everyone pours their heart and soul into this build and wants to make it as special as possible for the children who will be using it for years to come.”

So, it’s set to be a moving reveal, especially when singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor drops by for a special surprise.

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