This show is an Irish institution.

You'll be hard pushed to find anybody over a certain age in the country who has never seen the jam packed Christmas edition of the long running  talk show.

I have many a fond memory of staying up late to watch the annual extravaganza that is this programme. It was looked forward to for weeks in our house. We'd get to see all the latest toys being demonstrated and reviewed by some lucky (and very often amusingly precocious) children. I always wondered how these kids managed to get on the show but never did quite figure it out.

Some of the products were potentials to make the Santa list and others were purely aspirational items to us regular Joe Soaps. Nonetheless they were all equally enjoyed by us as  viewers. We would exclaim how lucky the  people in the audience were each time 'there's one for everone in the audience' was uttered.

And now as an adult, it's a ritual I like to continue with my own children. No-one in our house writes their Santa list until after 'The Toy Show'. It would be terrible to have sent your list before you saw that cracking item which got a 9.5 out of 10 by that like minded child. Santa doesn't do change of mind slips!

I don't know if it's the weather, the nostalgia or just the sense of anticipation but there is definitely an atmosphere that could be bottled on the night . Coca Cola might tell us that 'The holidays are coming' but for me nothing spells 'Christmas is on the way' quite like the 'Late Late Toy Show'.

An Ode To Nostalgia 

Twas the eve of December

And all through the land

Not a ticket can be blagged

As supply outstrips demand

It could be felt across the country

That sense of anticipation

For the annual extravaganza

From our national TV station


There’ll be dolls, there’ll be prams

There’ll be scooters and trikes

There’ll be diggers and tractors

And maybe even quad bikes


There’ll be singers and dancers

And a few famous faces

Trying out all types of toys

In all kinds of places


There’ll be testers and samplers

From all walks of life

Putting toys through their paces

And Ryan under the knife

There’ll be reviews of books

Snippets from chapters and pages

Cause reading’s a gift

To encourage at all ages


There’ll be jumpers galore

Bringing festive good cheer

To celebrate the most wonderful

Time of the year


The pubs will be empty

The cinema in doubt

It’s the night staying in

Is the new going out!


It will be watched across Ireland

And by the diaspora via the net

And oh to be in the audience

What a goody bag they get! 

Brought to us by uncle Gaybo

Then Pat and then Tubs

With the fun filled shenanigans

And the tear jerking blubs


So hang up your stockings

Throw a log on the fire

Get your snacks & treats ready

Turn the TV up higher


Indulge in the magic

Let your worries be gone

It’s officially Christmas

Once the toy show is on

© 2016  Eimear Heaphy