Aileen was awarded the 2022 Terry Wogan Fundraiser of the Year award on Friday night for her incredible contribution to charity.
As she was brought on to the stage, the hosts Michael Ball and Mel Giedroyc revealed she had debated not coming to the live TV event as she was worried about ‘taking time away from her big day of fundraising.’
Michael explained: ‘There was so many incredible stories, but when we read about AIleen… she’s been raising funds every year since 1985. And she does it, and keeps doing it, because of Terry.’
Mel was clearly moved by Aileen’, calling her ‘amazing,’ and added: ‘Can you be our Prime Minister please?’
To which Aileen responded: ‘Well it’s certainly about time for a new one, is it not?’
Mel – looking a bit flustered at having totally walked into that one – laughed as some members of the audiences cheered.
It’s unclear whether Aileen was making a quip about the UK needing a new Prime Minister, or about it literally being ‘about time’ for a new one to be appointed, having had three in the past three months.
Aileen said she had been inspired to begin raising money for charity because of iconic broadcaster Sir Terry, and ‘because every penny donated to Children in Need goes to CIN. Every single penny.’
Accepting the award, Aileen paid tribute to Irish-born broadcaster Sir Terry, saying: ‘I can’t be here and miss the opportunity to praise him.
‘He cheered us every morning for many years on the radio. It was his intention that needy children be supported, and here we are still doing it successfully in his name, and in his memory.’
She then said there was no need for Aileen to worry about missing out on her fundraising day as they sent Jason Manford into the audience with a bucket, collecting donations from those in the crowd.
Presenting the award to Aileen, Michael said she ‘so deserves it – but it doesn’t get you off the hook for next year, you keep raising the funds!’
The award-winner was treated to a standing ovation from the audience as she picked up the trophy.
Elsewhere on the annual charity event, Children In Need revealed the new Doctor Who companion, who will join Ncuti Gatwa in the Tardis from next year.
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