"The Official BBC Children in Need Medley" is a single by Peter Kay's Animated All Star Band. It is the official Children in Need Single for 2009, and was released on 21 November 2009. The song was shown for the first time on Children in Need 2009. The cover art is a parody of the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. The single has sold over 452,000 copies in the UK, earning it Gold status from the BPI.
According to a news interview, Kay conceptualized the single while working with the director. The director said that he would "love to do something like that" but he and Kay regarded it mostly as a joke.
After some time away from the subject, Kay brought it up again, this time with the actual intent to produce it. The director said that he and Kay "just sat down one lunchtime and wrote a list", with as many characters recorded on it as they could think of from their childhoods, as well as some modern favorites and non-British characters. The song was recorded at Hullabaloo Studios by the Voice and Music Company.
The project was carried out in top secret at the request of executive producer Kay. Celebrities and voice artists who voiced characters' original vocals were brought in without being told details of the project. When contacted by Cartoon Network Studios, Casey Kasem agreed to take part on the condition that Shaggy was shown to be a vegetarian and asked not to be given credit as he was officially retired.
The project took 132 hours to mix the vocals of the seven different songs, eight months to animate, and around two years in total. Many of the original character models had been packed away, given to museums or burnt. Where possible the originals were found and transported to Chapman Studios in Altrincham from all over the world. In cases where the original models no longer existed, such as the characters from Camberwick Green and Trumpton, new ones were created.
Because permission was not given by Royal Mail to use their logo, Postman Pat's van was a modified model with no logo.
The single raised at least £170,000 for Children in Need after more than 265,000 CD, DVD and download sales by mid-December 2009.
The single is a medley of multiple songs played out in the following order:
- "Can You Feel It" – originally performed by The Jacksons (1980) (0:00–1:08)
- "Don't Stop" – originally performed by Fleetwood Mac (1976) (1:08–2:27)
- "Jai Ho!" from the film Slumdog Millionaire – originally performed by A.R. Rahman and The Pussycat Dolls (2009) (2:12–2:41)
- "Tubthumping" – originally performed by Chumbawamba (1997) (2:41–3:00)
- "Never Forget" – originally performed by Take That (1995) (3:00–3:18)
- "Hey Jude" – originally performed by The Beatles (1968) (3:18–3:37)
- "One Day Like This" – originally performed by Elbow (2008) (3:37–4:30)
The single entered the UK Singles Chart on download sales alone at number 18. On iTunes, the video was being downloaded almost three times as much as the single. Video sales are not included in the UK Singles Chart, so it was felt that the single might not chart as highly as expected, however it climbed to number 1 in its second week on chart after it was released on CD and DVD. Although it peaked very highly in the UK Singles Chart, it peaked surprisingly low in the UK Downloads Chart, at number 30. The high physical sales of the single meant that it held off Jason Derulo's "Whatcha Say" in its first week and Rihanna's "Russian Roulette" in its second week. On the third week, the single dropped to number 2 after it was knocked off the number 1 spot by Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance". In the fourth week, the single fell to number 4 and then number 11 in its fifth week. In its sixth week, the song dropped 24 places to 35. The song entered the European Hot 100 at number 58, the next week it climbed 51 places to number 7, and peaked at number 5, the song then dropped to number 11 the next week. The song entered the Irish Singles Chart at number 25. The following week the song moved up to 19, and peaked at number 6.
As of November 2016, the song has sold 452,000 copies in the UK.
The music video shows the Animated All Star Band meeting and recording the song in a studio, parodying other charity songs in the style of Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?", with Big Chris, the character voiced by Kay in Roary the Racing Car, first arranging the recording session and then leading the singing.
The music video features over 100 animated characters from various production companies. Nearly all of the characters are voiced by their original UK voice artists including Ringo Starr as Thomas the Tank Engine. One of the exceptions are Scooby-Doo who is voiced by Frank Welker since original voice artist Don Messick died in 1997 and Paddington Bear who is voiced by Jonathan Kydd since his original voice, Michael Hordern had died in 1996 Most of the contributions are stop motion characters. Some who are not are displayed on a TV screen within the stop motion world "via satellite", including Shaggy Rogers, Scooby-Doo, Ben Tennyson, Roobarb and Custard, Peppa Pig and Muffin the Mule. The characters SpongeBob SquarePants and Angelina Ballerina are displayed on Big Chris' mobile phone.
The video depicts Big Chris at night talking to Postman Pat on the phone, saying he wants to get everyone together for the recording. Bob the Builder sings the first song, joined by Postman Pat and Fireman Sam. Fifi sings "Jai Ho", accompanied by other female characters, as well as Ajay Bains before realising his mistake and joining the men for their rendition of "Tubthumping", and then the whole cast sing a montage of Take That's "Never Forget", The Beatles's "Hey Jude", and Elbow's "One Day Like This". At the end of the video, Chippy Minton appears, only to be informed by Big Chris that they have just finished.
Characters with an asterisk (*) after their names appear on the cover montage but not in the music video itself.