Sophie Ellis-Bextor raises £1m in 24-hour Children In Need danceathon

Celebrated Chiswick resident Sophie Ellis-Bextor has raised over a million pounds through her 24-hour Children In Need dance challenge, which saw the singer moving non-stop for an entire day and night.

Throughout the session she danced to the Radio 2 travel news, sang karaoke with Tony Blackburn and regularly changed her outfit into a succession of sparkly dresses.

Ellis-Bextor started dancing at 9.26am on Tuesday (16 November), receiving moral support from friends including Natalie Imbruglia, Tamsin Outhwaite, Gemma Collins and Michael Ball over the subsequent 24 hours.

The challenge was inspired by Ellis-Bextor’s Kitchen Disco sessions, a series of live-streamed concerts from her house during the 2020 lockdown.

“If it kills me, it will be Murder On The Dancefloor, and I don’t like the idea of that headline writing itself,” she joked at the outset, referencing the title of one of her biggest hits.

Ellis-Bextor said she chose the majority of the music herself, to avoid a mid-performance slump.

Above: Sophie Ellis-Bextor is ‘reunited’ with her family during the last leg of her danceathon

‘Phenomenal’ total

After taking her final step to Abba’s Dancing Queen the star sank to her knees. BBC Radio 2 breakfast host Zoe Ball then revealed £803,384 had been raised for children’s charities across the UK. The total increased to £1,009,317 an hour after the challenge finished.

“That is phenomenal,” Ellis-Bextor said. “Thank you so much.”

Speaking to BBC News in the ninth hour of the challenge, Ellis-Bextor said raising a family had been the best preparation for her feat of endurance.

“I haven’t pulled an all-nighter for a long time,” she said. “But because I have young children, there’s been plenty of days recently where I’ve ended up doing what I do with very little sleep.”

She added:

“Maybe that’s why the sleep deprivation doesn’t bother me as much as it might have done – because I don’t get much sleep anyway.”

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