Ryan Tubridy with Scoil Mhuire Ballincollig Choir at RTÉ’s The Late Late Toy Show Audition Tour at the Strand Hotel Picture: True Media
FESTIVE CHEER arrived early in October this week as a young ensemble of talent descended on Limerick’s Strand Hotel for a chance at a childhood dream.
A dream many shared was on offer with the chance to be a part of The Late Late Toy Show on offer as the auditions were launched in Limerick for the first time.
Reprising his role as the Christmas geansaí-wearing “Toymaster” for the tenth year was Ryan Tubridy, who was in a jovial mood.
The Late Late Show presenter sang “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” with the choir of Scoil Mhuire Ballincollig, Cork, before he broke out the drumsticks with the Dromineer Drummers of Galway, and then proceeded to try his hand at the trumpet with the Rebel Jazz Group from Cork.
“What a great year it has been for Limerick, what a great summer it has been for Limerick and now we’re here to make it a great Autumn and Winter for Limerick as well,” he said.
“We’re very excited, it’s going be our biggest show yet and what better place to do auditions than in the glorious autumn sunshine by the Shannon, the competition is fierce it’s like the Hunger Games with tinsel,” Mr Tubridy declared.
The great summer the RTÉ presenter referred to was the unforgettable victory for Limerick in the All-Ireland hurling final back in August.
Despite having “a little bit of Galway” in him, Mr Tubridy was pleased to have a chat with All-Ireland winner Shane Dowling who brought the Liam MacCarthy trophy with him.
“If I may draw the analogy, you’re out there on a Sunday afternoon at Croke Park and me doing the Late Late Toy Show is my Croke Park where millions are watching saying you better be good, or you’re dead,” said Ryan.
“I know the feeling and to be honest there’s some nights when you go to bed you’re thinking I better not make a fool out of myself,” Mr Dowling responded.
“The difference is my job is to make a fool out of myself,” Mr Tubridy joked.
“Well you don’t get well paid to make a fool of yourself!” the hurler laughed with ‘Tubs’ chuckling as well.
After Mr Dowling recorded Mr Tubridy sending a message to his employer explaining why he was absent on Monday morning, the two then met young Anna Doody from Newcastle West for a quick chat about their memories of the final.
”I watched it at home with my Nana and Granddad, we were all crying,” Ms Doody recalled.
”Were you crying?” Mr Dowling asked the Late Late Show host.
”I shed a tear,” Mr Tubridy admitted.
Anna, a fifth-class pupil from Monagea National School, was the only participant from Limerick in the auditions. Much like her hurling heroes she faced stiff competition from Cork and Galway, with her lovely rendition of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”.
Whoever makes it to the promised land of the Late Late Toy Show will definitely have a magical evening when the annual show returns on Friday, November 30 on RTÉ One.