The Take That star welcomed guests including Kelly Rowland, Sir Terry Wogan, Coleen Rooney, Chris Moyles and JLS, alongside various Coronation Street cast members.
A brand new bespoke Bentley Continental GTC was among the items up for auction at the Hilton Hotel bash, with all the money raised going to the charity.
Others in attendance included the event's host Jason Donovan, Olly Murs, Fearne Cotton, Alesha Dixon and Barlow's X Factor finalists Marcus Collins and Craig Colton.
Lady GaGa, Coldplay, Michael Bublé and JLS are among the acts who will perform at the Children in Need Rocks event in the city tonight.
Cheryl Cole had been due to make an appearance to duet with Barlow, but pulled out earlier this week due to illness.
The Children in Need telethon takes place on Friday from 7pm on BBC One.
> One Direction, Westlife, Susan Boyle, JLS for Children in Need 2011
Take a look through our gallery from the Gala Dinner below: