Viewers all over the country were glued to the screens on Friday night, with The Late Late Toy Show totally taking over everyone's television schedules, and for good reason.
A record amount of viewers from over 100 countries all over the world tuned into RTÉ Player to catch a glimpse of the infamous Irish show, with a total of 1.5 million watching it on RTÉ One over the weekend.
This makes it officially the most watched programme on Irish TV in 2018, and cements it's place as the nation's television event of the year. 1.3 million viewers watched this year, making it an increase of 200,000 people.
The show excelled itself this year, especially with their chosen theme of The Greatest Showman, which was hugely popular with both viewers, participants and host Ryan Tubridy.
1.3 million people watched the show live, which was an incredible 74 percent share of the TV audience during this time period. The hashtag #LateLateToyShow even trended worldwide on Twitter.
The show had a total reach on RTÉ One of over 1.8 million viewers who tuned in for a minute or more on Friday night, some viewers on the Player logged on from Myanmar, Haiti, Mongolia and Burundi.
Ryan Tubridy gushed about the evening, saying: "I am blown away every single year at the reaction we get to The Late Late Toy Show."
"As a team, we are so honoured that people open their arms and welcome us in for such a magical night, and I sincerely hope it was as much fun for our viewers as it was for me on Friday."
"The production team and the children are what make the Toy Show special and memorable and I want to thank everyone involved, from little star Michael to our heroes Grace and Scott, to the set and costume designers. I’m delighted viewers loved it as much as we did."
Ryan Tubridy is delivering a massive treat this week for RTÉ viewers, both for rugby fanatics and the 1990s generation.
Fresh from his heroic performance on Saturday which saw Ireland defeat the All Blacks, man of the match Peter O'Mahony is dropping by RTÉ One studios to discuss the immense victory, and what the team has planned for 2019's World Cup.
It's fair to say the entire nation was screaming at the TV, or else hiding behind the couch from the sheer tension of the match, where Ireland beat New Zealand for only the second time ever by 16:9 points, and Peter O'Mahony played a massive role.
Next up: it's Boyzone, every 1990s Irish gal's dream.
After selling over 25 million records, it's fair to say that Boyzone have enjoyed phenomenal success.
With several number 1 albums and numerous top-selling singles, the boys are set to embark on their farewell tour after 25 years, we are SO THERE.
Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy will be telling Ryan Tubridy why it’s time to say goodbye.
Professor Brian Cox is stopping by, continuing on his journey to make complex scientific ideas understandable to all.
The charismatic scientist joins Ryan to explain his passion for unpicking the infinite universe around us, and tells us why he's going on tour to bring science on the road.
Whether you're a nerdy fan or a total science novice, he's a fascinating guest to watch speak.
Fr Tony Coote was diagnosed earlier this year with Motor Neurone Disease and chose to walk the length of Ireland to raise awareness and funds for sufferers.
He will be speaking to Ryan on the show alongside Professor Orla Hardiman, consultant neurologist at Beaumont Hospital. Fr Tony intends to discuss the success of “Walk While You Can” and how he is adapting to life with the disease.
The biggest TV event of the year is almost upon us and we cannot contain ourselves!
The Late Late Toy Show is coming to RTÉ One and on RTÉ Player, live and on-demand, this Friday from 9:35pm (Irish Time). With viewers in over 100 countries around the world primed to watch the show, tell your friends and family abroad they need not miss out as The Late Late Toy Show will be available to watch worldwide for free, live and on-demand on RTÉ Player, across Desktop, iOS and Android apps.
Ahead of The Late Late Toy Show host Ryan Tubridy said: “One of the many great things about The Late Late Toy Show is that it is still one of those rare TV events where practically the entire country sits down to collectively enjoy it.
"Even better, Irish people – and their friends – around the world get to watch along at the same time. People watched in 103 countries around the world last year. For that couple of hours on a Friday night we are all connected by the madness that is this utterly unique show. We have something very special planned this year and I think it is going to make a lot of people smile, no matter where they are in the world."
In preparation for the main event, viewers at home and abroad can get in training with the essential The Late Late Toy Show collection on RTÉ Player featuring some of the most noteworthy moments throughout the years.
Revisit some of last years’ golden moments in The Late Late Toy Show 2016 before a quick recap on a selection of the most fantastic opening numbers over the years in The Late Late Toyshow Showstopping Openers.
Remember that time Toby Kane from Wicklow played it cool when Girls Aloud surprised him? Reminisce on some of the celebrity guests that have surprised their unsuspecting fans in The Late Late Toy Show Famous Faces. Take a moment to honour the true heroes of The Late Late Toy Show, the children.
From pint sized toy testers to tremendously talented kids, check out the ‘gogglebox’ style clip where some of the shows past performers and toy experts take a look back at themselves all those years ago in The Late Late Toyshow Talkback.
The Late Late Toy Show Collection is available now on RTÉ Player and viewers around the world can watch The Late Late Toy Show for free live and on demand on RTÉ Player, across Desktop, iOS and Android.
Whether it's choir singing, Irish dancing or musicians with more talent in their tiny fingernails that any of us could ever muster, The Late Late Toy Show plays host to some of Ireland's most talented youngsters.
If you have a blossoming Mariah Carey or David Blaine in your midst, it may be time to put them forward for theToy Show.
Applications have been extended for another week, so this is the last chance to get them on the 2017 show.
'I am really looking forward to hitting the road again and taking the Toy Show to the kids who make it such essential viewing,' Late Late Toy Show host Ryan Tubridy said.
'We have unearthed some brilliant performers on our previous trips around Ireland but I'm absolutely positive that there are still some real gems to be discovered.'
Down through the years, The Late Late Toy Show has been defined by the wonderful young people who have been involved.
Who could forget rapping farmer Fionn, John Joe the horologist, and Domhnall meeting his idol Robbie Keane?
Not to mention the moment that Ed Sheeran surprised 11-year-old Aimee Keogh, leaving her (and the audience) speechless?
All applicants need to do is download the application form at www.rte.ie/latelate, record a short video of themselves performing their talent, put that video on a DVD or USB key and send it in to The Late Late Toy Show Auditions, PO Box 170, RTÉ, Dublin 4.
Then, chosen applicants will be asked to come in to audition before the final cut is made.
If you applied for tickets to the Late Late Toy Show but don’t fancy your chances in this year’s lottery, then you might want to hedge your bets by getting a little creative with everyone's favourite festive character.
Giving the public the chance to win two tickets to one of the biggest nights in the festive calendar, the folk behind the RTÉ institution have launched the RyanElf competition.
So, if you and your mate want a pair of seats on December 2, all you need to do is include the RyanElf in a special occasion, and then share that snap on social media using the #ToyShowSnap hashtag.
Whether you decide to bring the RyanElf to a local house party, pose alongside him at a famous landmark or have him photobomb an otherwise perfect picture, you have the chance to score two tickets to the show, so what are you waiting for?
Eager to see where the public will take his mini me, the man himself has given us free rein, saying: "I'm encouraging everyone to be as fun and creative as possible with the RyanElf – I'm looking forward to seeing where he ends up!"
You heard him, ladies, Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have some brainstorming to do.
The Late Late Toy Show is easily one of the most popular nights on the Irish TV calendar.
Both young and old alike tune in to see what trouble Tubbers will get into, but as well as that, the talent is a huge part of the show.
Kids from all over the country want to perform on it, and now for the first time ever, we're going to get a little sneak peek into what actually goes on behind-the-scenes.
RTÉ are filming a three-part documentary which will look into what goes on in the audition phase, much like the smaller 2015 documentary, The Late Late Toy Show Unwrapped.
Hillary Jones, the show's producer, said in a press release: “We really want to capture the joy and excitement of the performers taking part in The Late Late Toy Show.
“Last year, The Late Late Toy Show Unwrapped, gave viewers a small glimpse of the regional auditions as we looked back over the history of the show but this year we’re bringing them right into the heart of the process.
“For the children auditioning this is a once in a lifetime experience. We’re aiming to give viewers a real insight in how the biggest night on Irish television comes together by following some of the little stars auditioning to take part and going behind the scenes with the team who put the show together.”
The documentary will air a week before the Toy Show, November 25.
With retailers flogging selection boxes in September and department stores unveiling their festive windows in October, it can be fairly easy to assume a Grinch-like attitude when it comes to Christmas.
The older you get the earlier it seems to start, but if there’s one thing that can capture the magic of a childhood Christmas, it’s the Late Late Toy Show.
An Irish institution, the chatshow’s nod to the magic of Yuletide is the one thing that ALWAYS gets the ball rolling for us.
And according to the good folk behind the RTÉ extravaganza, this year’s is set to be the best yet with the Toy Show team already travelling the highways and byways of Ireland in search of the country’s best young performers.
And if that wasn’t enough to reel you in, there’s also whisperings that the more creative among us have been gong hell for leather creating a spectacular opening number.
“This year’s opening number is the most ambitious we have ever staged,” said Late Late Toy Show producer Katherine Drohan
“More than 60 students from IADT Dun Laoghaire are working on special pieces to feature in the opening of the show. Sworn to secrecy, these students have been working tirelessly on the project for weeks now.”
And if we sound excited, we’ve nothing on a certain Mr Tubridy who is ony dying to get stuck in.
“I am tremendously excited to be taking the show on the road again. We did this for the first time last year and we uncovered some hidden gems that we really wouldn’t have discovered had we not taken the Toy Show to them.”
“Their contribution to last year’s show was immense. There is so much untapped talent in this country and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and finding it,” he added.
Auditions will take place at The Imperial Hotel in Cork on October 24, The Ardilaun Hotel in Galway on October 25 and Ballymascanlon House Hotel in Dundalk on October 26.