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Dublin: 19 °C Tuesday 11 August, 2020

How To Explain The Toy Show To Your Non-Irish Pals

We’re a peculiar bunch, aren’t we?

So, what’s the Toy Show?

Easy! The Toy Show is a very special installment of The Late Late Show that airs before Christmas and features Irish children playing with and reviewing the year’s most sought after toys.

000d3a17-800 Source: RTÉ

And who hosts this thing?

That would be Ryan Tubridy, who is an entertainment broadcaster on RTÉ One and RTÉ Radio One. Every year, there’s great speculation about what Christmas jumper he’ll wear and what musical number he’ll open the show with.

insta Source: RTÉ

Sounds neat! A nice TV show for the whole family to watch after their dinner. Irish people are so quaint and charming.

Haha, yeah. Only it’s not really on at a family-friendly time. In fact, it doesn’t actually air until 9.30pm and it’s not over until shortly before midnight.

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But surely that’s too late for the show’s target audience?

You would think that! But the show is as much for adults as it is for children. You don’t even need to have children to fully appreciate it.

rte Source: RTE/YouTube

Are you telling me that grown men and women sit around watching a show about toys every year?

Yes. In fact, 1.36 million people watched it last year and had a reach of 1.94 million, which literally accounts for half the country.

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On a Friday night, though? What happened to… going out?

Eh, this is the Toy Show. You’d be crazy to go out. (Plus you can just stay in, play a drinking game and go out afterwards.)

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Watching a show about toys and drinking. Wow. What’s the appeal for adults?

Where to begin? We get to make remarks about how the toys today are much fancier than the ones we had and act as though that makes us morally superior. We get to coo over adorable children. And, of course, we get to make jokes on Twitter.

tiy Source: amy


Er,  not in a mean way. In an Irish way. It’s just harmless slagging. If you saw the Billie Barry kids, you’d slag them too. (But only because you’re secretly jealous of them.)

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Wow, I don’t even want to know who or what the “Billie Barry kids” are. What else is good about it?

Well, the audience is comprised entirely of adults wearing Christmas jumpers and hats, and they get loads of free stuff during the show. Some Irish people like to tune in and see what free swag the audience gets so we can accuse them of being “jammy”.

Anything else?

Sometimes they get special guests like Ed Sheeran and Robbie Keane to surprise children, and it’s adorable.

tor Source: RTÉ/YouTube

Okay, that does sound adorable. Who was the main celebrity guest last year?

*coughs* Evelyn Cusack.

giphy (3) Source: Giphy

Sorry, I didn’t catch that?

The main celebrity guest was Evelyn Cusack. She’s a meteorologist and she’s very famous, I promise.


But sometimes they get other special guests like, er, Dustin!

dustin Source: YouTube

Dustin… Hoffman?

Er, no. Dustin The Turkey. He’s basically a mouthy turkey that had a very successful television and music career once upon a time.

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So you’re telling me that you people regard meteorologists and turkeys as ‘celebrities’?

We really, really do.

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The kids must be really cute, so.

They are!

One year, there was a little boy named John Joe who was obsessed with clocks. And last year, there was a boy named Fionn who was dubbed the ‘rapping farmer kid’.

fion Source: YouTube

What a peculiar little country you are…

Aren’t we just?

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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