Irish Examiner view: Christmas has started

'The Late Late Toy Show' themes of 'escapism, love, courage, friendship, and unity' are exactly what the world needs right now
Irish Examiner view: Christmas has started

Ryan Tubridy with 'Late Late Toy Show' performers. Picture: Andres Poveda

Whole theses have been written about the deep inner meanings to be found in The Wizard of Oz, but the theme chosen to run through Friday night’s Late Late Toy Show means one thing for Ireland, just as it always has. Christmas has started.

In our own Emerald Country, RTÉ and Ryan Tubridy rose to the annual challenge of surpassing what has gone before and bringing joy and laughter to millions during what has been a very difficult year, with increased impoverishment for many and the terrible privations visited upon Ukraine by its bellicose and belligerent neighbour. At least we can help our welcome guests to find happiness and security for now, away from the conflict in their homelands.

The Late Late Toy Show has now become a global event via RTÉ Player, and 2022’s proclaimed themes of “escapism, love, courage, friendship, and unity” are exactly what the world needs right now. Last year’s production was viewed in over 120 countries. It has come on a long journey since its first half-hour segment overseen by Gay Byrne in 1975. This year it followed the yellow brick road. The eponymous Wizard told Dorothy that “life is all about facing your fears”. That’s a message we must all contemplate this winter.

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