By Julia Brennan
Every Christmas in Ireland, there is one show that many people cannot wait to see flash up on their screens once again and that is The Late Late Toy Show.
The Late Late Toy Show has been a show of fun, laughter and tradition for many families across Ireland since December 7th 1974 when it was hosted by the well-known presenter Gay Byrne. Now, after the torch was passed on to Ryan Tubridy, the Toy Show has continued on for 47 years, with this year’s exclusive theme being Disney’s famous The Lion King. The annual phenomenon climbed the hashtag ladder becoming the number #1 trending in Ireland on Twitter and various other social media platforms.
Image from RTÉ Late Late Toy Show Instagram
The show began with the opening number consisting of a mashup of Lion King classics such as ‘The Circle of Life’ and ‘Hakuna Matata’. All Spotlight Stage School performers donned zoo animal costumes with even our own Ryan Tubridy sporting Lion King Timone’s famous meerkat ears and tail.
And it only got more magical from there, with top moments on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram showing batgirl heroes, ketchup lovers, future farmers, fashionistas and even the biggest of dinosaur experts for toy testers making their appearances.
Rick O’Shea, Irish radio personality, tweeted out his joy at young burger maker and ketchup lover Lorcan followed by DJ music genius Callum and his hype man Jackson stealing the show with their glorious techno debut featuring young Irish, contemporary and ballet dancers.
Later in the show we caught Callum again playing out tunes for the showing of the kid’s vehicles such as bikes, scooters and go-karts. However, nothing was more priceless than his shock and awe reaction to ten year old Fergal’s Italian opera singing after he was called on by Tubridy to showcase his singing talents with the song Ave Maria.
Lego enthusiast and toy tester Finn Ryan, aged 8, was delighted to have been in remission from Crumlin’s Children’s Hospital after being deemed cancer free. He was able to ring the cancer free bell in hospital to celebrate during Covid-19, however he was not able to have much of an audience due to social restrictions at the time. However, at the Toy Show he was given the opportunity to ring the bell again in front of the whole country and even across to Toy Show fans around the world. “We’ll ring this as a bell for you and a bell of hope for the other children” Tubridy said. Finishing off his Toy Show debut, Finn also deservedly won a trip to the Lego capital Denmark with his family courtesy of the Toy Show. Children’s Health Ireland took to Twitter to voice their delight at seeing their well-known patient on the biggest Christmas show of the year.
The next child to steal the hearts of the nation was Isabella. After showing various fidget toys, she showcased her Adventure Book, speaking about her dream trips to the Caribbean and to Paris in France. Tubridy, working his magic, surprised Isabella with an Aer Lingus flight to Paris for both and her family along with tour trips to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. Many social media accounts tweeted their support including RTÉ One.
Along with all of these memorable and lovely moments, what every Toy Show audience looks forward to are the surprise famous guest appearances. This year was no different with both Olympic Gold medalist Kellie Harrington and Ed Sheeran gracing us with their presences. The Late Late Toy Show tweet featuring the two stars reached over 4.5k likes.
Not only is it a night of excitement and joy but also one of charity as The Toy Show Appeal was launched to help The Community Foundation for Ireland. All donations that were given will provide essential support, healthcare, well being, play and creativity.
As of yesterday afternoon, the figure stood at around €5.45 million. This achievement was then taken one step further after the CTO of Revolut Vlad Yatsenko took to social media to announce he had donated €100,000 with an extra €1 million in matched donations after issues occurred with the Revolut app for donations during the show. Donations have now surpassed 6.5 million euro for the Toy Show Appeal.
Many top Irish celebrities took to Twitter to praise the Toyshow and its guests including Doireann Garrihy and Dustin the Turkey, despite the fact he was less than happy by a specific Christmas jumper choice made by Tubridy.
https://twitter.com/DoireannGarrihy/status/1464382564106477570 Doireann Garrihy praise for Ed Sheeran’s appearance
https://twitter.com/DustinOfficial/status/1464380752834043908 Dustin Turkey tweet