Ryan Tubridy may well be the closest thing the world has to a real-life Willy Wonka; kids call him the 'Toy Man', he holds the golden ticket to The Late Late Toy Show, he has a soft spot for jellies and now he's written a children's book - on Roald Dahl paper, no less. 

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The First Christmas Jumper and the Sheep who Changed Everything is Tubridy's latest writing venture. It tells the story of the very first Christmas jumper and the multi-coloured sheep, named Hilary, that started it all.

"I was blessed with a head that's full of many thoughts - many, many thoughts - and ideas. I'm very rarely bored and if I get bored, I have to fix it very quickly so, with that in mind, this book was written quickly," explained Ryan.

"I bought a yellow A4 pad in the Roald Dahl Museum some years ago and I said, 'I'm only ever going to spoil it or deface it when I have an idea' and I bought that pad with a view of taking my favourite writer of all time's influence and, hopefully, a bit of luck," he continued.

It was on this very paper that Hilary, and her sidekick Didya, were born.

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As an avid reader himself, the bookish broadcaster has found firm footing in the literary world where he often finds himself interviewing fellow authors - some of whom he used as inspiration for his characters.

"I was trying to think of the names to put on these sheep's characters so I looked to my left and saw the spines of all my books and I started plucking, mostly Irish authors who I've interviewed from the spines and attributing characteristics of theirs to the sheep."

"When you get to that section, particularly book lovers and readers, will see names and go 'I wonder is that so and so?'. There are lots of games like that."

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With references to Irish authors, English bands (The Bleatles, of course) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this book aims to entertain parents and children alike. Pop-culture references aside though, what will kids learn from their woolly heroine?

Don't be afraid to stand out from the herd.

"That's the essence of the book, in many ways, that you don't have to look like the Kardashian version of a sheep."

Watch our interview with Ryan Tubridy above to hear him make many - many, many - sheep puns.

The First Christmas Jumper and the Sheep who Changed Everything is on sale now.