We’re mere hours away from the much-anticipated Late Late Toy Show. For many, it marks the official start of the festive season and now in its 42ndth year, it has entertained generations of adults and children alike. There’s no doubting it’s all about the kids and their quest to demonstrate the perfect Christmas toy/gadget, and try as many a presenter might, there can be no outshining them. They are charming, adorable and as unpredictable as you can get, considering it’s live TV. It’s for this reason that five of our top moments – and it was difficult to pick just five – revolve around the little ones who made the show shine in years gone by. From the awe-filled looks of wonder when they meet their idols to imparting words of wisdom (now everyone knows what a Horologist does) and the incredibly talented performers, they make the show what it is: pure magic.
Tonight, they are taking us Under the Sea as the theme is based on Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and we’re expecting great things (and more than one of Tubs’ famous jumpers), but while we wait, here are five moments we just can’t stop talking about:
1. John Joe Brennan
Little John Joe Brennan arrived onto The Toy Show with the body of an eight-year-old and the mind of an intellectual wise beyond his years. There are two moments that everyone remembers: his magical speech surmising what makes Roald Dahl books perfect for kids (please pass the tissues) and the following year, his thorough and insightful speech demonstrating his knowledge of clocks. He melted everyone’s heart and it is thanks to him that we all now know what a horologist is. He then famously examined Tubs’ watch and said, “It’s a very good mark, I suppose. Next to Rolex.” He is a legend. Watch both clips below:
We learnt all we know about clocks from him:
2. When Domhnall Met Robbie Keane
Young Domhnall was happily testing a FIFA Game for Ryan, with no idea that he was moments away from meeting his idol, Robbie Keane. The look of delighted awe on his face will be remembered for years to come and still makes us emotional every time we see it.
3. Toby And Girls Aloud
This is one clip that still makes us go: Squeeee! Wicklow native Toby Kane won the Junior Stars in their Eyes competition at the Wicklow Regatta Festival in 2003 and wanted to further demonstrate his singing skills on The Toy Show, performing Jump by Girls Aloud. The group snuck on stage and the poor child was so shocked, he couldn’t bring himself to speak to them. He seemed on the verge of tears when Pat Kenny asked whether he wanted to chat with them and our hearts turned to mush as he shook his head and said no. It is adorable.
4. Ed Sheeran’s Biggest Fan
There were many people who didn’t quite get the Ed Sheeran phenomenon until he appeared on last year’s Toy Show to surprise his biggest fan, Aimee. He stood right beside her as she sang her favourite Sheeran tune and the world has loved him ever since. It’s a genuinely heartfelt moment that makes for a wonderful watch.
5. The Best One-Liner Ever
The Toy Show is full of comebacks from the kids so brilliant that we could devote multiple pages of editorial in their honour. However, the truly cute five-year-old on a tractor (just look at that hat and those glasses!) surprising Tubs with a spiel as Gaeilge is one of the best in recent years. It was all going swimmingly until the little chap seemed to panic when Tubs tried to continue the conversation, giving him a one-word answer and pedalling swiftly away.