It’s coming up to that very special time of year again, the time when the great British public come together with a unique fundraising effort to help the disadvantaged children and young people here in the UK: Children in Need. A number of celebrities came forward last week to encourage and inspire people to take part in the charity’s annual fundraising event, broadcast by the BBC again this year on Friday 15th November. Boy band JLS were part of the line-up of famous faces, alongside the likes of Alex Jones, Gary Barlow, and of course, CiN veteran Sir Terry Wogan. The four boys urged fans to stage a musical show of their own in aid of the charity.
One man with numerous musical links is actor and recording artist, Ramin Karimloo. Children in Need is supported by thousands of people, and Karimloo certainly knows a thing or two about that, with his number of followers on social networking site Twitter currently standing at 69,714. It seems almost obvious then that the two should come together this year, in a move that is sure to make a lot of people happy, and more importantly, benefit CiN in a major way.
The West End leading man has recorded a single for Children in Need titled ‘Why Am I Falling’, which in fact, was released on iTunes and Amazon worldwide yesterday (9th September). The song is the creation of married Welsh composers/musicians Dan and Laura Curtis, who are probably best known for their original composition ‘The Miner’s Song and caught the media’s eye when they moved a piano into Big Pit in Blaenafon, South Wales, which lies 300 feet underground, to perform a concert in tribute of fallen miners. The duo approached Karimloo to not only record the song, but contribute to the lyrics too. The result is a nicely heartfelt ballad which has been given the golden treatment of Karimloo’s sensational voice.
The single was released yesterday in conjunction with the opening of a competition which offers a unique opportunity to the eventual winner. Your Voice is an online search for ‘tomorrow’s West End talent’, awarding a once-in-a-lifetime chance for musical theatre enthusiasts aged between 16-25 years of age. Contenders are asked to submit an online video of themselves performing their own live rendition of ‘Why Am I Falling’ to either YouTube or Vimeo, with applicants judged on vocal ability, acting ability and overall performance. The successful finalist will not only win tickets to a West End show and an overnight stay in a London hotel, but they will also have the chance to take part in a workshop with a West End star and be given a performance opportunity at West End Live 2014. Entry to the competition is just £3, with every penny raised going straight towards the Children in Need appeal. Speaking about the competition, Karimloo praised both the song and the idea, saying: “This competition is great to help raise some money and give people a chance to work with colleagues and friends of mine on the West End stage.”
So who will be actually judging the inevitable flood of video submissions? An impressive selection of top names from the West End stage have been lined up to cast their experienced eyes over the performances, with the judging panel comprised of Kerry Ellis (We Will Rock You, Wicked), Ben Forster (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Rocky Horror Show), Alex Gaumond (We Will Rock You, Legally Blonde), Leanne Jones (Saucy Jack, Hairspray), Ryan Molloy (Taboo, Jersey Boys), John Owen-Jones (Les Miserables, Phantom), Caroline Sheen (Les Miserables, Mary Poppins) and Claire Sweeney (Tell Me On A Sunday, Legally Blonde).
The competition deadline for entries is 6th October 2013. It’s a fantastic opportunity for one lucky winner, and also brings a little touch of the magic of musical theatre to Children in Need. As great as all that is though, the most important aspect in this instance has to be the monetary outcome of both Karimloo’s recorded version of ‘Why Am I Falling’ and the competition, as all the proceeds go directly to CiN and will become part of something very special indeed. Children and young people all across the UK will benefit greatly from this funds raised this year, and through both of these linked efforts, anyone can become involved and do something to help. Since it first began back in 1980, Children in Need has raised millions through its appeals and changed the lives of countless needy children. There is probably nothing more important you can do this year than to support the worthwhile work of CiN, and Karimloo spoke out to tell people just exactly why that is:
“I think there’s a strong sentiment with when they say ‘charity begins at home’, and to see the UK taking care of their own is a great thing, and especially for the kids, because they are the future as they say, so to take care of them is probably the best investment, ever.”
Whether you enter the Your Voice competition or download the charity single, you are contributing to the Children in Need 2013 appeal and doing your part to help make a difference. Ramin is right after all; our children are the future and if we can help make that future a little brighter for some of them, how can anyone turn away from that chance?
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Last Updated Tuesday 10th September 2013