A Date in the Irish Calendar – The Late Late Toy Show

Anticipation has been building all week – the goodies have been bought and every kid in the country is looking forward to staying up well beyond their bedtime tonight.

Ah yes you say – the big announcement today re the lifting of Covid level 5 restrictions for Christmas. NO -not that – well ok…. the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) is due to speak later today. BUT it was stated earlier in the week that his announcement would not clash with the most important televised event of the year – THE LATE LATE TOY SHOW!

So what’s it all about?

The Late Late Show is a weekly Irish chat show which first aired on 6th July 1962 ( YES! 58.5 years ago!).

In 1975, coming up to Christmas, a half-hour slot was introduced at the end of the show to give parents some gift ideas while their kids were sleeping.

It evolved very quickly into an full show in its own right, complete with lots of child toy-testers and performers, dodgy Xmas jumpers and celebrity surprises.

A survey published by Jury’s Inn has shown 40% of Irish millennials view it as their fondest childhood throwback.

Last year, more than 1.7 million people tuned in to watch it over the course of the weekend on a variety of RTÉ platforms. The Frozen-themed extravaganza was watched by an audience of 1.35 million on the night, making it the most-watched programme on Irish television in 2019.

(A frequent sight in Irish homes on Toy Show night!!!!!!)

The Irish Diaspora….

You know we Irish are everywhere and, for our massive diaspora, this is a huge occasion. Last year, Irish people from more than 100 countries tuned in to the show which is available to watch live and on demand on the RTE Player.

So, where ever you are, don’t forget to set the clock…..

Friday, 27th…

1.35pm Vancouver

4.35pm New York

9.35pm Dublin

10.35pm Berlin / Madrid / Paris

Saturday 28th….

1.35am Dubai

5.35am Hong Kong

6.35am Tokyo

8.35am Sydney

10.35am Auckland

This year, more than ever, there is a sense of anticipation like no other. Maybe we just need more cheering up than usual but there’s a lot of excitement circulating about the show. Alas, families are unable to buy their matching Late Late Toy Show pyjamas and onesies but we won’t let that spoil a wonderful occasion!

(Maaaayyyyybeee you’ll still squeeze into last years jammies despite all the Covid cooking, eating and drinking!!!!)

So, to young and old, whether at home or abroad, light the fire, line up the popcorn, hot chocolate, vino and jellies, forget about the world out there for 2 magical hours and have a fabulous night!


Pyjamas and Slippers – Family Photos (Thank you G!)

All other images are stock photos courtesy of Unsplash and Pexels

20 thoughts on “A Date in the Irish Calendar – The Late Late Toy Show

  1. What an amazing event. I have never heard of anything like this before, but I can see why it has attracted such an iconic following. Enjoy! Although go easy on those red Gummy Bears or you will never get to sleep! 😉

  2. I feel bad, I’ve never watched this programme during my time in Ireland, it’s true that I don’t watch much TV, but more surprisingly no one around me has told me about it. Thanks for remedying this lack of my Irish culture. Have a good Show!

    1. Ha – its a wonder you didn’t notice all the hype about it if you were here at this time of year. Your Irish education is now fulfilled 😅 😂

  3. I’m one among many who’ve never seen the show but I’ll try and catch up with it even though I won’t see any of the young ones in the family this Christmas: in fact I won’t see any of the older ones either, as they can’t travel because of Covid. Meantime, in last week’s Late, Late Show, Mary Robinson made many references to something that sounded (phonetically) like Meyla or Meera (Spirit of Meera). Could you tell me something about this, maybe do a blog post about it? M.R. referred to it as being the DNA of the Irish.

    1. I’d say she was talking about Meitheal? One example – I spent my summers in Donegal. The neighbours would come together to help with saving the hay. Then it would be reciprocated throughout the townland. So its a spirit of co-operation in communities – particularly rural areas. It would have been very strong here but its not an Irish thing. Internationally what springs to mind – and what we’ve seen in movies etc – would be say the Amish community coming together to build a neighbour’s barn.

      1. Thanks, Marie. And did you know that The Guardian today had a half-page article on The Late, Late Toy Show? Increased audiences all round I should think.

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