The essential Late Late Toy Show kit normally consists of popcorn, hot chocolate, and maybe even an advance tub of Heroes or Quality Street — but a box of tissues or a very large monogrammed handkerchief might be added to that list now too.
Ryan Tubridy has already had the waterworks on the go: he says he was brought to tears when he previewed a collaboration of groups of children from across the globe singing.
It’s Late Late Toy Show day.
Homework and housework are banned. It’s all about getting the stove — or a Christmas candle lit and getting cosy and letting Ryan and his helpers take us to a happy place of deluxe toys, quirky gadgets, craft kits, and take-you-to-another-world books.
The singers featured in tonight’s performance all have Irish connections and have joined together to send special messages to their loved ones here in Ireland through a Take That song: the children sing about lighting up the sky and ruling the world as we approach the end of what has been a year like no other.
During the song, singer Eva Norton from Lucan in Dublin leads the charge from studio, as she's joined by Ryan Tillman from Adelaide; Emma Rosemond in Time Square; the Aisling Ceili Ballad Group in New York City; Shay Gallagher in Bahrain; Lili Joy Kelly in Perth; Tara Neiland in South Korea; and the Ginnity, Melady, Kelly and Lenehan Families in Adelaide.
Others featured on the performance include Brendan Griffin in Rochester New York; Daithi Fitzgerald also in Dubai; Abbi Houton in Boston; Liam and Soaah Slattery in Maryland; Moya Forde in Johannesburg; Kiera Arthur in Canberra; Rosemary Whelan in Melbourne; Isabelle Bonas in Dubai; The Gota Murphy Brothers in Madrid; Joshua Earls in Auckland; Taylor Hayes in Florida; and Millie May O Mahoney in Tasmania.
Also pictured are the Aisling Ceili Ballad (group) in New York, who got up at 6am to head to a deserted Times Square to film their piece during the week of the US presidential election.
Ryan Tubridy said: "I don't think there will be a dry eye in the land tonight when this performance is beamed across the country.
"It's a performance that encapsulates the year that was, and bright hopes for the future and that children everywhere are going to go on to rule the world, it's really something very, very special and of the moment and I'm not ashamed to admit that it really did stop me in my tracks and I was overcome with emotion.”
Meanwhile, Ryan and the children of Spotlight Stage will be seen on the set of the Roald Dahl-inspired set. Matilda, Charlie, a little fox, little rabbit, grasshopper, and Badger, all from Dahl's collection of stories all make an appearance.
The set, created by the RTÉ production Design Department, led by Marcella Power, takes up the entire round of the studio floor, with a giant screen in place so that Ryan can be joined by the virtual audience on Friday night.
The set has been completely influenced by the works of Roald Dahl and features nods to some of his most famous works including Willy Wonka, The Twits, and James and the Giant Peach, it also, fittingly, features a special reading area for the eagerly anticipated book reviewers who will join Ryan tonight.
Meanwhile, there will be tears here if someone doesn't cross that final frontier and get me a knitted jumper just like the one Ryan's wearing. Isn't it just fab!
- The Late Late Show takes place at 9.35pm on RTÉ One tonight