The amount received during the seven-hour telethon stood at £18,098,199 at the end of the show at 2am. Organisers are hoping that this will rise to around £39m once all the donations are collected.
Presenters Sir Terry Wogan, Tess Daly and Fearne Cotton were joined by a host of celebrities in aid of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.
Sketches included East Street, a crossover between EastEnders and Coronation Street, and a Come Dine With Me special featuring the stars of Dragons' Den.
Cheryl Cole, JLS and Susan Boyle also performed on the show and a preview of the Doctor Who Christmas special was shown.
David Ramsden, chief executive of Children in Need, told the BBC: "In these tough times the millions raised tonight will make a real difference to thousands of young lives right across the UK. On behalf of the children I would like to thank everyone for their incredible generosity."