CUDDLY charity bear Pudsey paid a surprise visit to an East Lancashire hospital to support fund-raising for Children in Need.

Pudsey brightened up the day of youngsters on the children’s unit, and paediatric wards, at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, spending time with the children, and posing for photographs.

Jenny Grindrod, play leader, said: “We were thrilled that Pudsey dropped in. The children were absolutely delighted to have a hug and to see him in real life.”

She added: “Our thanks go to Barratt Parmer, from Asda Blackburn, for helping to arrange the visit, and to the generosity of all the staff and visitors to the hospital who donated money and helped support Children in Need.”

Pudsey’s visit coincided with the culmination of fundraising activities across the UK before the televised Children In Need marathon tomorrow.