€6.6 million from the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal is to be distributed to children's charities, with Barnardos, Children's Health Foundation and Children's Books Ireland among the lead beneficiaries.

Last year's Toy Show will go down in history for a number of reasons. Not only did host Ryan Tubridy and the team have to navigate Covid-19 restrictions, but they also launched the first-ever Late Late Toy Show Appeal.

With over €6.6 million in donations raised, it's fair to say it exceeded everyone's expectations, and then some.

Today, RTÉ has announced that half of the proceeds will be shared among Barnardos Ireland, Children's Health Foundation and Children's Books Ireland.

Hugs have been sent around the world, thanks to Adam King

The remaining €2.7 million will be made available for children's charities in an open call for grants to be managed by The Community Foundation for Ireland, RTÉ’s registered charity partner.

More details on the grant application process are available here.

Speaking about today's announcement, host Ryan Tubridy said: "We want to offer a huge 'thank you' to every single person who donated. We were quite simply overwhelmed with the response from an audience who have been so, so giving. It's safe to say our expectations were exceeded, beyond all our hopes.

Michael Moloney singing with Dermot Kennedy on The Late Late Toy Show

"Children like Saoírse and Adam inspired and lifted the nation when we really needed it. It's important that we look after them and children across Ireland for years to come through the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal. This money is really going to make a difference – thank you all."

Dee Forbes, Director-General of RTÉ, added: "The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal was an idea that really resonated with our audience, and their incredible generosity will achieve great things and for that, we're hugely grateful.

"It is a legacy we want to continue to build on and this is the beginning of an exciting journey in helping many more children in years to come."

On tonight's Late Late Show, Saoírse Ruane, Adam King and Michael Moloney will once again join Tubridy, to speak about how their lives have been since their memorable appearances on the Toy Show last November.