The countdown to Santa’s arrival officially got under way last night with the annual screening of the ever popular Late Late Toy Show.
Around the country families huddled around the fireside to watch presenter Ryan Tubridy and his band of small helpers demonstrate what’s hot and what’s not in the world of toys.
Bedecked in the now compulsory seasonal woolly jumpers, he initially introduced the show wearing one with a snowboarding Santa emblazoned on the front. That was quickly changed, though, into a elf-style one with buttons and buckle.
The soon to be 40-year-old, who was backed by more than 200 child performers, highlighted a number of Irish-made toys and urged viewers to support home-produced products.
He also pointed out a range of toys which would enhance learning among special needs children.
Mary Nally, 8, from Co Meath, stole the show when she got a fit of the giggles.
She told Ryan that she hated Lego because she thought it was for boys, but then discovered there were kits for girls.
Mary also extolled the virtues of pillow baby, a cross between a cushion and a cuddly toy.
Omar Ferry from Rathcoole, Co Dublin, was also a big Lego fan.
And just to prove that there is longevity for certain brands, a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys were also on display.
Some of the parents watching with their children would have had them as toys themselves when their popularity peaked in the late 1980s.
All the toys were supplied by Smyth’s and will be sent to a number of different children’s charities in the coming days.
But there were also some big boys toys on offer.
Everyone in the audience bagged a Vodafone Smart 2 phone.
RTÉ will be waiting to see if last night’s show tops the record performance of last year’s.
It was viewed by 1.41 million people — the highest ratings for any Irish television programme in 15 years.
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