It’s the ultimate Christmas showdown, the kind of ding dong carol singers don’t croon about, as TV3 pitches itself against the State-funded broadcaster with its own version of the Late Late Toy Show.
Billed as ShowPal Christmas Toys, the TV3 programme is geared to steal a jump on rival RTÉ’s production by airing at a time when children are still tuned in to the possibilities of what Santa has to offer — which may or may not be a good thing.
As well as being broadcast at 10am on Ireland AM on Nov 29, it will re-air at 8pm, an hour-and-a-half before the RTE Toy Show. TV3 publicists describe the timing as “more child friendly”.
Compacted into a half-hour show and set in Tattersalls Winter Wonderland, in Ratoath, Co Meath, it will be fronted by panto king, Alan Hughes, who will showcase “some of the best toys available” with the help of toddlers and teens.
The Richie Hayes Stage School will inject its own bit of festive cheer while viewers get to reserve or buy toys “on the spot” via TV3’s Showpal companion app. While this sounds convenient for parents the consequences could be catastrophic if the app is in the wrong hands — take control of your iPhone or whatever device you are using until the kids are safely in bed.
Comments posted on the Facebook page of entertainment.ie ranged from “Only half an hour!!! Mind you that’s more than long enough to have to put up with Alan” to “BLASPHEMY!”
What we can look forward to is a truncated Toy Show produced without taxpayers’ backing or Tubs’s Christmas jumper.
So peace on earth then, and goodwill to all men.
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