Ten times the Toy Show totally took over our hearts

Only ten?! Listen, we can’t have you too teary before Friday night! We could’ve picked from dozens – but some of your favorite moments are bound to be here.

DJ Calum and hype man Jackson pump up the Toy Show volume (2021)
The Toy Show party took a high-octane turn last November with a superb performance by the Kieran brothers – DJ Calum and his ‘Hype Man’ Jackson. When DJ Calum told Ryan about his ambitions to make a career out of playing music (“I want to DJ the main stage at a music festival in front of thousands of people”), Ryan bestowed him with a full suite of top-notch equipment . A clearly emotional Calum was taken back by the gesture, but just when we thought our hearts couldn’t get any fuller, he told everyone how much his little brother means to him. “He’s just the best. He’s really funny. I just love him. He helps me out a lot!” They’ve gigged with Jenny Greene since and DJ Callum will also be starring in Toy Show the Musical.

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Nanny Pat’s cameo (2019)
A gem from November 2019 – Leitrim’s eight-year-old Tom Cullen and his Nanny Pat. Tom told Ryan about Nanny Pat’s dinners, her knitting and, of course, the chats. He even revealed that he had a personalized jigsaw of her! So what better Toy Show treat than to bring Nanny Pat on to the show as a surprise guest? We all wanted a hug from her too!

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Sophia’s supreme show of strength (2019)
Wow. Dublin youngster Sophia Maher gave the Toy Show its most important moment in 2019 with an anti-bullying message that spoke to, and for, a better Ireland. “Don’t let the bullies stop the things… from doing the things you want to do,” said Sophia. “And life would just suck if everybody was the same.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the studio, or at home.

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Dermot Kennedy surprises Michael Moloney mid-chorus (2020)
Another classic example of the Toy Show being everything we needed – and more. Teenager Michael Moloney, a huge Dermot Kennedy fan, was performing a sublime version of Dermot’s Giants, which he dedicated to his late father. Mid-chorus, in came Dermot to marvel at Michael’s totally assured rendition. “It was magic,” said the chart-topper after the duet. Since that magic night, Michael has released his debut single.

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Domhnall Meets his favorite footballer (2013)
When football-mad Domhnall Ó Confhaol from Connemara appeared on the Toy Show in 2013, his hero Robbie Keane was recovering from an operation on his Achilles tendon. Ryan asked Domhnall what he would say to the Irish captain if he could speak to him. “I’d hope he’d be better quickly, because I think we really need him for the 2016 Euros…he’s like the main man for us,” said Domhnall. Cue Robbie hobbling onstage with crutches in tow, leaving the cherub-cheeked eight-year-old completely speechless. Bless.

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Toby attempts to ignore Girls Aloud (2003)
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 Showperforming Girls Aloud’s cover of Jump. However, he seemed a bit perturbed when the group sneaked onstage, looking like he might burst into tears and shaking his head when Pat Kenny asked if he wanted to chat to them. Poor Toby! He was back in the Toy Show audience as an adult last year!

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Ed Sheeran surprises his biggest fan (2014)
It’s always great when kids get to meet their heroes, but it’s always better on the Toy Show! Aimee Keogh got the shock of a lifetime on the Toy Show when, in the middle of performing a karaoke version of an Ed Sheeran song, the man himself crept up behind her to join in. Aimee screamed, then looked like she was going to cry with joy, exclaiming, “I’m hysterical! Oh my God!” What a cutie. PS: The man himself made a surprise Toy Show return last year.

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Ryan and Paudie’s show-stopping Toy Show performance (2021)
Ryan teamed up with Paudie O’Callaghan for an awe-inspiring performance of Harry Styles’ uplifting track Treat People with Kindness. While Ryan got the chance to show off his singing range, it was of course the kids that stole the show, particularly the brilliant Paudie. After their toe-tapping number they showed what great pals they are when Paudie encouraged a reluctant Ryan to go down the tiny slide in the studio. Since wowing the Toy Show, Paudie has gone on to interview the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste!

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Home is the hero (2017)
Brother and sister Adam and Kayla Burke got the best surprise of all when they were reunited with their father, who was based in Mali with the Defense Forces. We just couldn’t deal, and neither could Tubs.

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Adam King rules our hearts
When Cork native Adam King, then aged six, held up a virtual hug sign during the 2020 show, it captured hearts around the nation after a long and difficult year. Adam, who has brittle bones, inspired viewers with his plans to work in NASA; his confidence and love of life were already out of this world. And there was a suitably stellar surprise: John Doyle, “the nicest hospital porter in Ireland”, beamed in from Temple Street to salute his young friend. “Adam has such an infectious smile that even the darkest planet out there would light up,” said John. Talk about a rocket straight to your heart! Since that night, Adam has become an author and hosted part of the The Late Late Show!

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Now, here’s to loads more memories on Friday night!

Tune in to The Late Late Toy Show this Friday, 25 November, at 9:35pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.

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