Ryan Tubridy has admitted he had a “real cry” ahead of The Late Late Toy Show.
The highly anticipated show will air on Friday, November 27, with the host promising a bigger show than ever before.
Speaking to the Sunday World, Ryan said: “I had a cry. It’s the first time in a while I had a real cry.
“I’d rather not tell you what it was that triggered it but it’s safe to say that we are achieving something big this year with the Toy Show – bigger than normal.”
“This year, more than ever, we need this Toy Show. Kids deserve it after the year they’ve been through. Parents deserve it too,” he added.
“And I also hope that grandparents will tune in because they have missed out on so much too and a lot of them are alone. So this year’s show is for them too.
“I don’t want to spoil all the surprises but when we did a call out for Irish kids living abroad to take part in the show this year – it wasn’t just for talented kids and toy-testing kids.
“From Brighton to Boston to Brisbane there are children taking part this year who will blow you away. Let’s just say that people like Granny McLaughlin in Monaghan will be getting some big surprises next Friday. There is a lot of heart in this year’s show.”
“From as early as March I was thinking about this show,” he explained.
“And more recently when travel restrictions got ramped up it became clear that for the first time ever kids may not see some of their family this year. And that upsets me, and the team, and will upset you at home watching.
“But in the world of technology we will try our best to spring some surprises and bring people together as best we can.
“We have a few things filmed already and one piece hit me hard. You will need the tissues on the night. Trust me.”
Teasing what to expect from Friday night’s show, Ryan admitted there would be some obvious changes.
“There will be prizes but not in the traditional sense,” he explained, “There are obviously no more ‘there’s one for everyone in the audience’.
“There will be celebrity appearances and toy testing and musical numbers. But things will be pared back in that sense. They have to be.
“So, our biggest challenge was making this big while being very small. And while we aren’t finished yet, the plan is amazing and we think it will be the kind of programming that viewers deserve in these times from the national broadcaster.”
“I make sure I do my best to ensure [kids] get the little bit of escapism they deserve each year. My own girls are adults now so I miss that excitement and hysteria that you get from younger ones.
“You will all still get that feeling on next week’s show. I just won’t necessarily be in the same room as the kids this year.
“I won’t be able to reach in and give any of the kids hugs if something goes wrong and they are thousands of miles away.
“I will just assure them that they are doing brilliantly and to try their best,” Ryan added.