Bookies back Tubridy to make song and dance




For a moment yesterday, RTÉ’s chat show host Ryan Tubridy had the press at his mercy: Then he put the gun down.

It was only a toy pump-action gun but it was big, Tubridy was menacing, and you could never be sure. He had taken a short break from preparations for tonight’s Late Late Toy Show, which will based on the musical Mary Poppins.

A record 231 children from all over the country will be taking part in the show and the toy count has also reached new levels too with 237 featuring in the show and more than 100 used for set design.

Last year’s Late Late Toy Show had an audience of more than 1.4m, well ahead of the hit crime series Love/Hate, which had a top audience of 1.2m during the previous series, with just over 1m watching the last episode.

Tubridy was flattered that Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy put his racy take on the Late Late Toy Show on YouTube.

Burgundy, played by Will Ferrell, said Ireland would be celebrating a long tradition of broadcasting when the Late Late Toy Show showcased popular toys for Christmas.

“It certainly sounds charming but not nearly as much fun as my wife and I’s version of the Late Late Toy Show, wherein she and I put on some jazz, oil up our bodies... Oh all right, another time then. Merry Christmas Ireland.”

Tubridy said he was under pressure to dance during tonight’s show but might “bottle it” because it could be too embarrassing for everyone.

Tubridy said it had also been suggested that he would sing during the show, but he was not sure about that either. “The only singing I do is very late at night after a few drinks when I torture Frank Sinatra’s back catalogue,” he said.

However, the Christ-mas jumper is going to appear on Tubridy, who has whittled his choice down to three. “It’s classic gruesome, where I am going this year — that acceptable disgusting,” he said.

It is the fifth year that Tubridy has presented the Late Late Toy Show and he is conscious that there are a lot of cash-strapped parents hoping that Santa will understand.

“I will be mentioning that the elves have certain toys that are more accessible and easier to make and not as expensive to put together,” Tubridy revealed. “We will make that clear to our young viewers tonight.”

Tubridy said toys at the high end of the market would be featured, but it would be made very clear that they are expensive. The top 10 toys would also be unveiled.

Tubridy said he was very surprised that 40,000 people wanted to be part of the audience. “It’s bonkers for 200 seats,” he said.

However, he said he was not worried that TV3’s toy show would be screened before the Late Late. He said the channel was not taking on RTÉ in any serious way.

Meanwhile, Boylesports have Tubridy at 1/2 that he will break a child’s toy and 13/2 that he will make a child cry.

And what are the odds of him falling if he tackles a dance number? Well, the bookies have faith in his dancing abilities, as he is a long 6/1 to fall during his performance.


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