Appearing on The Late Late Toy Show has, for many years, been what dreams are made of for countless kids. And, as the Toy Show takes to the road for the first time in search of the country’s best young performers, it seems the dream is about to become a reality.
The Toy Show crew kicked off the first of the regional auditions in Cork yesterday where singers, groups, and musicians battled it out for a place in this year’s festivities.
Host Ryan Tubridy said it was the first step in preparing for the big night on November 27.
“The job at hand is to provide a bizarre night of brilliance, bonkers shenanigans, and messing, and that’s what the Toy Show is,” said Tubridy.
He described the atmosphere at the auditions, held in the Metropole Hotel, as “electric” and said it provides him with the perfect excuse to let his inner child out: “I loved being a kid and I never left it behind.”
Tubs was glowing in his praise for auditionees in the Rebel County.
“Cork kids are not shy. They are in a different league and they have a great confidence and friendliness about them,” he said.
Tubridy also confirmed he will be dusting off his dancing shoes again this year, although he is tight-lipped about the theme of the show.
“I am giving no clues away,” he said. “We live in an age where everyone knows everything about everyone all the time and some things are just lovely to have as a surprise.”
Toy Show producer Katherine Drohan praised the talent of participants.
“The originality of the auditionees is mind-blowing,” she said. “People are really creative and the originality is something that would just really take your breath away.”
Dylan Kenehan, 11, from Kanturk is no stranger to auditions after already appearing on RTÉ Two’s Swipe TV and reaching the All-Ireland final of Teen Stars last year, where he finished eighth out of 1,200 competitors.
He is hopeful his performance of the Leonard Cohen track ‘Hallelujah’ will guarantee him a place in the yuletide extravaganza.
“I watch the Toy Show every year and I’d really like to get on it because I love the show,” he said.
Thiha, 9, and Kaleb, 5, from Mallow, are also hopeful that their performance as a duo will ensure their place. Thiha began playing the concertina two years ago and her brother Kaleb joined in singing.
“Thiha was practising the concertina at home and Kaleb just picked it up,” said mum Helen Kearney. “He has great rhythm in his soul and he’s a brilliant dancer and singer.”
Representing the Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance, Sharon Manning praised her group of more than 30 girls, who danced to the hit song ‘Jai Ho’, and said it would be “magic” for them to reach the live show.
The Late Late Toy Show is a tradition that holds the country spellbound year after year and 2015 is no exception, with tickets rarer than entry to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
Last year, more than 200,000 people applied for tickets. The studio has a capacity of just 250.
This year, the show has two special tickets up for grabs and, to be in with a chance of winning, people are being asked to take a picture of The Late Late Toy Show car as it travels around the country and share it via Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #latelatetoyshow.