Tears and Christmas cheers in Kielty’s Toy Show debut

Patrick Kielty and children at Toy Show
Image caption,The Toy Show invites children into the studio to test the year’s hottest toys

Songs, seasonal cheer and a special guest appearance by Elfis Pressley marked Patrick Kielty’s debut as the host of the Late Late Toy Show.

Kielty took over running of world’s longest-running chat show, The Late Late Show, in September – and with it the responsibility of marshalling its annual Christmas spectacular.

The Toy Show invites children into the studio to test the year’s hottest toys, with entertaining and, occasionally, enjoyably chaotic results.

It’s one of the country’s most-watched television programmes and tends to mark the start of the Christmas season for those watching in Ireland and, often, around the world.

Earlier this week, Kielty described the gig as “a dream come true” and asked people to “say a prayer for all on board as I try to hold it together”.

But did the County Down-born presenter manage to keep the Toy Show train on the tracks? Here’s a look at some of the show’s highlights.

Emotional moment in opener

Patrick Kielty at Toy Show with children
Image caption,Kielty addressed recent violence in Dublin

The Late Late Toy Show was being broadcast just as people in Ireland were reeling from serious events in Dublin the previous 36 hours – a knife attack outside a school that injured several people and a subsequent riot across the centre of the capital.

So the question was – would Kielty address that darkness on a night usually given over exclusively to Christmas cheer?

The answer was yes and it came just moments after the opening number of Santa Claus is Coming To Town, as Kielty – in full elf outfit – addressed the audience in his opening remarks.

“Given the events of the last 24 hours it’s important to remember what this time of year is all about and that is holding your kids tight this Christmas,” Kielty said, visibly getting a little emotional.

“We are thinking of every family who needs an extra hug tonight.”

Little stars, big performances

Tessa Evans
Image caption,Tessa Evans, from Maghera, was one of the Matilda performers

Razzle dazzle is a key part of the Toy Show experience and this year was no different.

A Barbie movie medley, rapping by young Sophia from Cork and a large ensemble doing Naughty from Matilda the Musical were some of the musical highlights from the show.

The latter number featured 10-year-old Tessa Evans, from Maghera, County Londonderry, who said it was an amazing experience to be part of the show.

“It felt like a dream. I like the songs and it’s just a big part of me,” she told BBC Radio Ulster’s Saturday with John Toal show.

Speaking to Derry Now earlier this week, http://popicedingin.com/ Tessa said she told jokes to the audition panel, and clearly it worked as she was part of an ensemble that brought the Toy Show house down.

Plus we couldn’t forget Elfis Pressley, http://popicedingin.com/ who helped Head Elf Kielty keep the show on the road.

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