The Late Late Toy Show threw its arms around the world like never before on Friday night, raising over €6.2m for children's charities in between all the fun and heartwarming moments.

As Fantastic Mr Fox, Ryan Tubridy and friends got the party started with a performance of It's Oh So Quiet. It was anything but. 

The Toy Show was anything but quiet! 

Billed as "the show to end all shows", the whoops and cheers began from the get-go and echoed in homes all over the country, and beyond.

The Toy Show studio looked warmer and more beautiful than ever before - some achievement for an extravaganza that occupies such a special spot in the hearts of generations.

Families all over the country appeared on screen via the wonders of technology and children who are spending time in hospital or with LauraLynn and the Jack & Jill Foundation received a special shoutout on the most special of nights.

Mathew McHugh making sure the Toy Show is sticking to social distancing guidelines

With tongue-in-cheek, the host wasted no time in sending up the reality of working from home in 2020, multitasking on the toys after he was reminded of his obligations by the Elf and Safety Officer, pint-sized garda-for-the night Matthew McHugh.

The first toy testers of the night were Grace (eight) and James (six) Keane, a full-of-yap sister and brother from Co Cork who gave the other testers a tough act to follow and even found time to hoover the studio. They would rise to the occasion.

Supervet Saoirse Moynihan, aged eight from Tralee

Budding Supervet Saoirse Moynihan, aged eight from Tralee, tested teddy dog Tony Tubridy for coronavirus, with adherence to procedure that would do NPHET proud.

A David Walliams fan, Saoirse was keen to know if the author cleaned up after his dog while out walking - she got her answer via a specially recorded message from the man himself. And Walliams had lots of presents ready to send to Saoirse too.

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Mini paleontologist Jayme Traynor corrected Ryan that he was aged six, not five, and lived in Newry, not Cabra - and he was only getting warmed up. In the sweetest Northern accent, he told Ryan that his inflatable dinosaur looked "a bit sleepy", imparted his grandmother's wisdom that "when you've got to go you've got to go", and then had a Jurassic lark racing the host before heading off to wait for his call from Steven Spielberg.

A star in the making.

Sam Moules, aged seven from Aughrim, Co Wicklow

Sam Moules, aged seven from Aughrim, Co Wicklow brought the great outdoors indoors and shared his love of camping with a man who, one imagines, hasn't spent much time in a tent, apart from the Ploughing Championship.

The urbane presenter and the young Bear Grylls became the best of pals quicker than a campfire pot would boil - an outside broadcast adventure would make for some good Sunday night TV.

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Eight-year-old Saoirse Ruane from Kiltullagh, Co Galway was an inspiration for the ages as she shared her story of losing her leg because of a tumour - she first started to feel ill on Toy Show night last year.

She told Ryan she had three dreams: be on the Late Late Toy Show, be walking by Christmas and go on a family holiday. With the first two sorted, the Toy Show and Aer Lingus were only too happy to help with the latter.

A trip to Disney World is on the cards when the world goes back to normal. Saoirse was then joined by her mother to tell of Saoirse's fundraising for charity - a story that inspired this year's Late Late Toy Show Charity Appeal.

The Purcell siblings from Co Cavan

Christopher (11), Fionn (eight) and Angela (six) Purcell from Co Cavan shared their love of reading with RTÉ's resident bookworm, enjoyed a sing-song, talked GAA and had their three-of-a-kind charm captured by renowned artist PJ Lynch. There was also a year's supply of books to bring home.

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Eight-year-old Gabriela Dermody from Co Kilkenny pogoed into studio, gave Ryan a crash course in make-up for dolls and showed off her TikTok dance moves. Guess who couldn't keep up?!

It was the perfect segue into Tubs' tribute to Singin' in the Rain - on the Fair City set! Showstoppers are the Toy Show's stock-in-trade; this one would have made Gene Kelly smile that smile.

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Once Ryan dried off, he was joined by eight-year-old Aidan Pinto from Midleton, Co Cork, a train enthusiast who brought all his rolling stock with him. The Slim Controller was suitably impressed, until Aidan said that Ringo Starr narrating Thomas the Tank Engine was better than drumming for The Beatles!

The youngster was just as sure of his answers on Toyshow Mastermind, winning a Golden Train ticket from Iarnród Éireann for a tour of Inchicore Works and a vintage train trip across Ireland.

Nine-year-old rocker Annie McCann O'Brien from Portlaoise shared her love of AC/DC. "You've got great taste in music," said Ryan. "I know," said Annie with a cool that would do Bon Scott proud. She then doubled down and put the host in his place again by telling him her father was still too young to buy a newspaper.

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The much-heralded performance of Rule the World lived up to the hype. And then some. As Gary Barlow joined children with Irish roots from around the globe, everyone felt that little bit closer to home - and to coming home.

Adam King, aged six from Co Cork, held up the homemade virtual hug that he shows everyone he meets because of Covid-19. Everyone in the country wanted to hold one up for him too. Adam, who has brittle bones, plans to work in NASA mission control; his confidence and sense of fun are already out of this world.

Adam King, aged six from Co Cork

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!

Jacky McCullough, aged eight from Dripsey, Co Cork showed off his snooker knowledge and skills, but is too full of beans to be a commentator! His sheer sense of anything goes fun epitomised the night that was in it - and there's a day out with Ken Doherty to look forward to sometime (hopefully) soon.

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Michael Moloney is a huge Dermot Kennedy fan and performed a sublime version of Giants, dedicated to his late father.  Mid-chorus, in came Dermot Kennedy to marvel at Michael's totally assured rendition.

"It was magic," said the chart-topper of his latest duet. And he didn't come empty-handed, telling Michael he has a day's recording in Windmill Lane lined up. It sounded like it would be the first of many.

Ten-year-old Lucy Power from Waterford celebrated her 10th birthday with some dress-up fun to mark all the things we missed in 2020. 

Another 10-year-old, Noah Rafferty from Louth, shared his dream to be "the world's greatest rockstar".

He was joined by Tubs for a cover of In the Air Tonight - there was definitely something - and his own song, Rock is the Best Medicine. It had a touch of Let Me Entertain You about it - Noah certainly did.  And how this for a surprise encore? A special message from U2's The Edge and a signed guitar!

It was a sweet end to the sweetest of shows, with €5m - and counting - raised to help children and families who need it.

Ryan signed off with "a hope of better days to come". We'd be hard pressed to have a better night.

You can watch more highlights from The Late Late Toy Show on RTÉ Player