Because the well-known track goes: “It’s our problem-free philosophy – Hakuna Matata.” We may all use a few of that proper now, so the Late Late Toy Show tonight, with its theme of The Lion King, has hit a nerve earlier than even happening air.
he Serengeti, full with gushing waterfall and plush, trailing vines, is in place. The 50 fortunate viewers members, who received their spot for the most popular night time of the y ear in a lottery, are guarding their invites with their lives.
The proficient, ebullient kids have been rehearsing for weeks. The thriller friends stay… a thriller.
“However there will likely be stars,” Ryan Tubridy revealed.
All that’s left is for the host to look in a lion’s mane performing an unashamedly ridiculous dance – and the uncorking of that distinctive Toy Show spirit that may neither be translated nor defined. And don’t neglect the goodies. Heaps and plenty of goodies.
At a press occasion to view the set, there was a scent of contemporary paint within the air and an already ramped-up ambiance, as Tubs zoomed up on a miniature Vespa. “Prepared for some messing?” he requested.
They’d chosen The Lion King because the theme of this 12 months’s present as a result of it’s “enjoyable, it’s goofy, it’s foolish and it’s a problem-free philosophy”, he defined.
With no viewers in any respect final 12 months, Tubridy admitted it was tough making an attempt to maintain the present on the street. He didn’t know the way issues had been going. “I needed to ask ‘are we nonetheless on air’ as a result of it was so quiet,” he revealed.
So whereas the 50 friends allowed on this 12 months just isn’t fairly the energetic viewers of 220 throughout pre-Covid occasions, he’ll take it.
He has been “greatly surprised” by the resilience of the nation’s kids in the course of the pandemic. Toy Show night time is their time to chop free and have some enjoyable, he mentioned, including: “It is sort of a very benign Lord of the Flies.”
“Youngsters, you’re in cost. You’re the boss now, for this night time and one night time solely,” he mentioned, talking on to his core viewers.
”Your dad and mom are your slaves. You do what you need to do. You eat what you need to eat. You say what you need to say and also you keep up for so long as you need to keep up.
“And when the dad and mom of Eire are peeling their kids from the ceilings and partitions, I say to them, ‘You’re welcome’.”
He received’t trawl by the verdicts on social media afterwards. “No, I’m not a kind of,” he mentioned, shocked. “I’ve a life.”
However Tubridy will decant with “a number of beers” as a result of the adrenalin afterwards is excessive – he mimed with an exaggerated hand aloft.
And in relation to getting within the Christmassy temper, it’s “Motown Christmas hits” all the way in which, with a heavy lacing of sugary treats. “In the event you minimize me, I bleed sweets,” he revealed.
Procuring native is one thing else he feels captivated with. Native companies are the “heartbeat of the group” – and whereas he understands it’s “handy and even a bit of cheaper” to purchase on-line, he requested individuals to provide enterprise to “the retailers and the household companies which were there for many years and a long time”.
“I’d urge individuals to get the toys, or their books and no matter they will from there (regionally), as a result of they want it in a manner that Jeff Bezos doesn’t,” he mentioned of the Amazon founder.
Massive multinational corporations are “strangling the lifeblood” from the cities and villages of Eire, he added.
“Store native, individuals. I do it myself. So I observe what I preach.”
Requested if it was unlucky that some households needed to share their private tales for the Toy Show enchantment in an effort to make waves, he mentioned ‘no’, as a result of they got here in voluntarily to inform their story.
Final 12 months, the Toy Show enchantment raised €6.5 million for charity over the course of an hour an a half.
For some kids, he mentioned, these donations meant having a meal earlier than college within the morning whereas for others, it meant a brand new e book of their arms.
“I feel it was a ravishing story final 12 months,” he mentioned.
“It stopped being only a TV present; it turned a lifeblood for lots of charities across the nation.”
Among the many proficient kids collaborating is Sophie Lennon (12) from Newry, Co Down, who has been rehearsing “for weeks”.
She couldn’t reveal what she will likely be singing – solely saying that she just isn’t nervous. “I simply love the thrill,” mentioned Sophie.
Realising the dream of a lifetime tonight will likely be Orla McDermott (14) from Drogheda, Co Louth. Orla can even be singing, after six years of making an attempt out for the present.
“We all the time put up the tree after which watch the present with popcorn, crisps and the whole lot,” she mentioned. “That is so thrilling however I’ll miss watching at house, too.”