One sleep to go! The best ever Late Late Toy Show moments

Nothing taps into our emotions quite like The Late Late Toy Show. From laughter to tears, we’ve rounded up the moments that still get us every time
One sleep to go! The best ever Late Late Toy Show moments

Late Late Toy Show burke family from midleton tears army dad

The Late Late Toy Show has long been an Irish tradition, wrapping us up in childlike joy, and festive jumpers, since 1974. 

Though this year’s show will look a little different, the anticipation is still building nationwide for the official beginning of the Christmas season.

While you eagerly await all of the emotion this Friday will bring, why not look back on some of the best Toy Show moments the years have brought us? 

2020 is a year for reminiscing after all, and there’s no better way to remember the joy of past Christmases than through the eyes of these Late Late Toy Show superstars.

John Joe becomes a star 

Future horologist John Joe Brennan stole the hearts of the nation when he appeared on the show in 2009 to review some Roald Dahl books.

The then 8-year-old also reviewed Ryan Tubridy’s watch, telling him it was “a good mark I suppose. Next to Rolex.” 

Four years later the Roscommon native returned to Tubridy’s couch to reveal he had changed career goals and wanted to become an auctioneer and save horology as a hobby. John Joe moved to France soon after, but his love of clocks is still as strong as the country’s love for him.

“Any Craic?” “Níl” 

Five-year-old Alex Meehan only graced our screens for a short amount of time in 2012, but his toy digger drive-through has been viewed online nearly a quarter of a million times since.

The paddy-capped Gaelgóir had no time for Tubridy’s questions, and responded with a simple “níl,” before pedaling off-stage when the host asked him if there was any craic.

One Youtube user commented on the video that the Dundalk driver should be our future president. The now 13-year-old might be a little busy going to school right now, but is the future limited? Níl.

Aimee Keough joins the A-team 

Back in 2014, Ed Sheeran impressed the nation when he paid a last-minute visit to his grandparents' home country to surprise superfan Aimee Keough.

Sheeran came up behind the Dublin native, who said she was in hysterics after the surprise, to join her in a game of Singstar during her Toy Show review.

After handing out gifts, Sheeran announced that he was going to fly Aimee and her family to London to see one of his O2 concerts the following summer, as he heard they had failed to secure tickets. The pair then sang another half song together, with Sheeran giving the emotional 11-year-old the chance to sing the last line. 

Sheeran was a big fan of the show, mentioning that there was no Late Late Toy Show in England. “It’s Irish you can’t have it,” Tubs famously replied.

Three years later, Aimee was invited to sit in the audience on Sheeran’s next Late Late Show appearance, where she announced that he was still one of her idols.

Gay Byrne’s rescue 

There's no reminiscing on the Toy Show without mention of the man who brought it to us in the first place. There are endless Gay Byrne moments to sift through, from insulting Boyzone to getting chased by a toy car, but his 1992 opening might be one of the most fondly remembered.

The legendary host showed off his acting skills as he awaited rescue during a snowy evening, hilariously shouting “no I don’t like you,” to ward off the dangerous dragon that threatened him.

A knight in shining armour eventually transpired to fetch him to the studio, while the surrounding drummers shouted “Long live Gaybo,” around him.

28 years later, we’re still shouting the same.

The Burke family is reunited 

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house in 2017 after Sergeant Graham Burke surprised his children on the show after months away serving with the armed forces in Mali, Africa.

The Cork family had been used to separations, as it was Sgt Burke’s sixth peacekeeping tour. 

His son Adam had apparently been crying in the lead up to Christmas for his dad to come home, however, after watching videos of American soldiers being reunited with their kids online.

Adam and his sister Kayla were oblivious on the night, trying out toys while telling Tubridy that their dad couldn’t watch the show and wouldn’t be home for Christmas. Then the host ripped open a wrapped box to reveal the surprise. 

Little Adam couldn’t let go of his dad after the reunion and the nation broke down right along with him.

The proud father of three said that he had no idea the impact the moment would have, with streams of people coming up to him in his hometown of Midleton afterward to shake his hand. He returned to duty soon after, where his fellow soldiers had watched the show live on a projector together.

We were never the same.

Special mention: Pat Kenny's grand entrance

There are endless amazing Toy Show entrances to choose as the best, with Tubridy showing up in anything from an Olaf costume to a Sebastian the lobster get up in recent years. 

However, Pat Kenny rocking up to the studio on an elephant may go down as one of the most legendary. 

Poor Pat didn't have much luck when it came to the Toy Show, from the time that Toby the Girls Aloud fan nearly broke down in front of him when the band appeared on 2003's show, to the infamous moment when a Late Late Show prize winner said they didn't want the coveted Toy Show tickets they had won and Kenny tore them up on air. 

But his 2002 elephant ride was the icing on the cake, as the pained looking presenter rode in along to The Apprentice theme tune before the elephant refused to kneel so he could get down.

It was TV gold and the seasoned presenter took it like a checkered shirt-wearing king, forever winning the prize for most 'this was not in my job description' moment.

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