The Deep hosts Children in Needs Rickshaw Challenge
15th November 2016
The Deep followed its live BBC TV broadcast of the FA Cup draw in 2015 with a different and even higher profile challenge when it was chosen to host one of the UK’s biggest charity appeals.
Children in Need’s 2016 Rickshaw Challenge rolled right into The Deep when it arrived in Hull on the way to raising £46.6 million – with the organisers still counting!
The Rickshaw Challenge route planners contacted The Deep in September and said they wanted a venue that was quirky and with a very visual backdrop. They also needed to know they could rely on the staff to meet all the technical requirements and to look after nearly 200 crew and audience – including Hull-based relatives of Matt Baker, face of The One Show.
Messages on The Deep’s website and through its social media feeds weeks in advance ensured that the studio audience was recruited with two hours. Meanwhile the team at The Deep worked closely with Children in Need, their event organisers from Across the Divide and countless people from the BBC.
When the big day arrived, satellite trucks lined the banks of the Humber and their cables entered the building next to the penguin exhibit to connect with the pop-up studio in the Endless Ocean gallery. There were practice runs – including by The Deep’s divers who readied themselves for a starring role in the show – and there was a live insert into BBC Look North as the excitement intensified.
Everything went without a hitch, and the show closed with The Deep’s divers revealing cards to display the running total for the Rickshaw Challenge of £522,189. By the end of the week that was up to £3,565,044, with the Rickshaw Challenge a key part of the Children in Need coverage on the Friday which attracted 6.56 million viewers.
Steve Scullion of Across the Divide said: “It was Matt’s idea to come to The Deep and it’s been really good. Hull was in a good location when we looked at the mileage we could do in a day and where could find a place that was a bit different. The Deep is certainly different from anywhere we have been before.
“The guys here have really looked after us. From the first recce they made us feel very welcome and their positive, can-do attitude not only made my job very easy but helped us to showcase The Deep on The One Show. Thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough. I know the money raised is going to help a lot of young people and that is all down to The Deep’s help.”
Freya Cross, Business and Corporate Manager at The Deep, said: “By definition, live TV can be completely different from one event to the next, so while our experience was a big factor in the Children in Need partners deciding to bring the event here we knew we would have to prepare right down to the smallest detail.
“There’s much more to it though than being able to provide a spectacular environment, so we sealed the deal after demonstrating our know-how in terms of technical support, and the quality and variety of our facilities when it came to keeping everyone comfortable.
“We are proud of the part we played, we are delighted that everything went smoothly and we are grateful to the organisers for such positive feedback after the event.”