The Late Late Toy Show: One for everyone in the audience — and more for many people in need

The Late Late Toy Show: One for everyone in the audience — and more for many people in need

The reaction of Saoibh Lonergan and her friends, Ellie Mai and Jack when Ryan Tubridy told them they were going to Disneyland was just one of the highlights of the Late Late Toy Show 2022. Picture: Andres Poveda

For families across Ireland, the Late Late Toy Show has always signified the official start of the Christmas season, and yet again this year it encouraged so many of us to put our hands in our pockets for those less fortunate.

As always, the audience was treated to lots of fun, great performances, and more than one heartfelt moment. There may have been one or two toys in there as well.

The creation of the Toy Show Appeal has been a welcome addition to the show since it launched in 2020.

The past two years have seen millions raised for charity and this year was no different.

Dorothy (10-year-old Ali Sheehan from Carlow) and Toto were the centrepiece of the opening medley from 'The Wizard of Oz' in Saturday night's magical Late Late Toy Show. Picture: Andres Poveda
Dorothy (10-year-old Ali Sheehan from Carlow) and Toto were the centrepiece of the opening medley from 'The Wizard of Oz' in Saturday night's magical Late Late Toy Show. Picture: Andres Poveda

By the time the show wrapped on Friday night, the Irish public had already donated €3.1m, and it didn’t stop there.

Donations continued to roll in throughout the weekend and the total was hurtling towards the €4m mark last night.

There is still time to donate if you haven’t already.

To donate via the Revolut app, go to ‘My Hub’, click ‘Donations’, and find the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal. Choose how much you want to give and tap ‘Donate’.

Alternatively, you can donate at rte.ie/ToyShowAppeal.

This year’s Toy Show felt like a return to normality after the past two years where the audience were either non-existent or extremely restricted.

You could feel the buzz of the atmosphere through the screen as it all kicked off.

Ryan Tubridy with performers from the ‘Wizard of Oz’-themed Late Late Toy Show. The Toy Show Appeal had raised €3.1m by the end of the show for children’s charities.	Picture: Andres Poveda
Ryan Tubridy with performers from the ‘Wizard of Oz’-themed Late Late Toy Show. The Toy Show Appeal had raised €3.1m by the end of the show for children’s charities. Picture: Andres Poveda

Parents at home dealing with over-excited children who had eaten too much sugar were comforted by the reminder that it could be worse as they watched an ultra-hyped Ryan Tubridy speed around the stage, throwing toys around the place and reeling off puns.

The big opening number saw little Dorothy and Toto swept off to the land of Oz and all your favourite characters appeared for a medley of songs from the beloved soundtrack.

This year, we were treated to a fantastic group of children. From the demonstrators to the performers, every child made an impression.

Of course, there were the usual surprise guests who made some of the kids’ dreams come true. But it was young Saoibh Lonergan, who was as excited to be reunited with her hospital pals as she was to learn that they would be heading to Disneyland, that stole our hearts.

Soccer fan Cealan Green from Dublin was delighted by a visit from star goalkeeper and Cork native Caoimhín Kelleher.
Soccer fan Cealan Green from Dublin was delighted by a visit from star goalkeeper and Cork native Caoimhín Kelleher.

I think everyone can agree though that it was birthday girl Emmie O’Neill who fared the best out of all the children, as the stand-up comedian in training took the theme very literally and is following her Yellow Brick Road all the way to Oz next summer to cheer on the girls in green.

In the end though, this year’s stand-out star wasn’t a child, it wasn’t Ryan — it was an audience member. 

Yes, I’m talking about the Woo Woo Man.

Spare a thought for him this morning as he is no doubt going to get the slagging of a lifetime as he returns to work today.

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