Ryan Tubridy, host of The Late Late Show with The Rhumble Crew (yellow hats), (Robert Keane and David O'Donnell) from Tralee, members of St Joe's Boy's Choir and members of quartet group, The Wispas, at The Late Late Toy Show auditions in Cork. (Photo: Cathal Noonan)

Groups of talented children hoping to land a spot on this year’s Late Late Toy Show auditioned in Cork today, as the search for the show’s performers kicked up a gear. 

The performers invited to audition had been whittled down from over 5,000 applicants from all over the country who had sent their video entries to The Late Late Toy Show team.

Ryan Tubridy hosted The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 show live from RTÉ’s Cork studios this morning, before heading to The Imperial Hotel to meet with the acts auditioning throughout the day in the hope of making it onto the show on November 29th.

Choirs, musicians, dancers and magicians lined the halls of the hotel ahead of their audition, and met with Ryan, who offered words of encouragement before they went in!

“It all starts here – we always get such a fantastic welcome from the people of Cork and the talent that is on offer all over this country is just something to behold,” Ryan said. 

“There’s a special feeling about the Toy Show this year, and we want everyone to be part of it in one way or another from the children here today and in Dublin later this week who have worked so hard for their auditions and who we are delighted to meet this week, to the children at home gearing up to watch on November 29 … It may be October, but it’s all about Christmas already.”

Further auditions for acts hoping to perform will be held in Dublin later this week. Toy show testers and book reviewers will also be chosen for the show in the coming weeks. 

The unprecedented number of audition tapes is in line with an unprecedented number of applications for tickets for the show this year, with over 100,000 people entering at www.rte.ie/latelate over a week-long period.

Neasa McLaughlin, producer on The Late Late Toy Show, said that the standard of entries this year had been phenomenal.

“We have once again been overwhelmed by the talented children all across Ireland who have applied this year,” she said. 

“For all of the children here in Cork today, to make it this far, from over 5,000 applicants, is a phenomenal achievement in itself and all of the children here today are so extremely talented. 

“There’s a huge amount of variety, from choirs and musicians, to dance troops … traditional and some less traditional acts, it’s truly exciting to bring the Toy Show auditions on the road and meet people from all over the country.”