Fire lit, pyjamas on and sweets at the ready - A very special Late Late Toy Show returns tonight

Grab the cosy pyjamas, stick the fire on, crack open that tub of sweets and tune into The Late Late Toy Show to see the magic unfold in front of your eyes tonight.

Fire lit, pyjamas on and sweets at the ready - A very special Late Late Toy Show returns tonight

Grab the cosy pyjamas, stick the fire on, crack open that tub of sweets and tune into The Late Late Toy Show to see the magic unfold in front of your eyes tonight.

It's that time of the year again and we can officially declare it Christmas because the most loved night of Irish television is back in the form of the toy show.

So put up your trees, hang those wreaths on the door and decorate the staircase because it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The theme of this year’s Late Late Toy Show is The Greatest Showman and boasts a huge cast with more than 200 young performers and over 30 talented toy testers taking part.

The children come from all over Ireland with the youngest just three and a half-years-old.

As always, host Ryan Tubridy and the Late Late Toy Show elves have a few surprises up their sleeves and all will be revealed as the show goes on.

“Having The Greatest Showman as our theme this year is helping to emphasise the essence of what I believe the Toy Show should be – inclusive," said Ryan.

This year we are celebrating the kid who doesn’t get Snapchatted, or who doesn’t always have someone to sit beside on the bus. These kids aren’t lonely or unhappy, they just find joy in their own way.

"This year’s show will be wrapped up in kindness and warmth and humour, so, as the song goes, see you on The Other Side.”

Late Late Toy Show producer Eimear O’Mahony said:

“Look out 'cause here we come! We can hardly contain our excitement for this year's Late Late Toy Show.

"We've been working hard over the past number of months in the hope of bringing the magic of Barnum’s Circus to our viewers, and have created a dazzling set and a show-stopping line-up filled with magic.”

The circus-themed set has been created by RTÉ production designers Marcella Power and Caroline Wade, and the elves in the RTÉ Costume and Make-Up Departments have been busy rewriting the stars over the past weeks as they ready the cast for Friday’s spectacular.

Host Ryan Tubridy and the cast of hundreds have prepared for the most magical night of the Irish television. Picture Andres Poveda.
Host Ryan Tubridy and the cast of hundreds have prepared for the most magical night of the Irish television. Picture Andres Poveda.

Head of RTÉ’s Costume Department Brigette Horan said:

“It has been a real pleasure to work on this year's Late Late Toy Show. As soon as we heard about The Greatest Showman theme, we knew we had to pull out all of the stops, and it has really inspired us to produce some of our most creative costume designs ever.

"It has been brilliant to work on, and we hope that people love Ryan's costume."

As with every Late Late Toy Show, a number of charities have nominated children to experience the magic of the set for themselves in advance of tonight’s show.

In a lovely moment captured during the madness of the set reveal by Eoghan McDermott, Ryan put aside his duties to sit and chat with Áine who was in a quiet corridor with her mother at the time.

Áine's mother told Eoghan that she had developed a brain tumour last year.

Ryan signed her book and tried out her wheelchair, leaving the huge smile across her face, before heading back to the mayhem. What a true gent.

This year children from LauraLynn Children's Hospice, The Jack and Jill Children's Foundation, National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght University Hospital, Our Lady's Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, and Barnados will get a sneak preview of the set and have the opportunity to play with the toys.

The good news is that no matter where you are in the world, The Late Late Toy Show will be available to watch for free, both live and on demand for up to 30 days, on RTÉ Player.

Siobhan Ni Chathain, Principal Gaelscoil Ui Drisceoil with Gearoid Kelleher who will be on the Late Late Toy in a costume that he used for Halloween made to look like a vehicle.

Video Larry Cummins

Last year the show was viewed live in over 100 countries outside of Ireland which shows the dedication and love that those who have left us still have for the special show.

The Late Late Toy Show airs tonight at 9.35pm on RTÉ One and will be available to watch worldwide for free on RTÉ Player.

A list of the toys featured will be available on the show’s website here following the broadcast.

Host Ryan Tubridy and the cast of hundreds have prepared for the most magical night of the Irish television. Picture Andres Poveda.
Host Ryan Tubridy and the cast of hundreds have prepared for the most magical night of the Irish television. Picture Andres Poveda.

- Digital Desk

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