If Ryan Tubridy is the closest thing we have to Willy Wonka, then he's just released his stash of golden tickets into the world, as applications for audience tickets for The Late Late Toy Show were officially opened today. 

This week saw regional auditions across Limerick, Tullamore and Dublin come to a close earlier this week, and with today's announcement we are one step closer to one of the most cherished days in the national calendar. So dust off your Christmas jumpers and root out the reindeer headbands and Santa hats, there's just over a month until the show airs. 

Speaking about the announcement, Ryan said "I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am for this year's Toy Show. I want to wish everyone the very best of luck, and who knows, I could be seeing you on the 30 November for the most magical night of the year".  

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Tickets for the Toy Show are some of the most coveted items in the country, and rightly so: between the spectacular opening performances, the surprising guests and the many, many, many Tweetable moments, it truly is a wonderful night. Last year saw more than 140,000 applications sent in to be in the audience for Ireland’s most popular television event.

Last year’s stunning Little Mermaid themed Late Late Toy Show had total audience of 1.2 million people.

And while the theme for the show is still a closely guarded secret, one thing we can confidently confirm is we can rule out Watership Down

To apply for Toy Show tickets, visit https://www.rte.ie/latelate. These tickets are processed separately to applications for tickets to the regular Late Late and each year the application process starts anew. So, even if you have applied for Toy Show tickets before or are already in the running for seats at the main show, you must apply here for a chance to win seats at this year's show. Only applications made through this website will be entered in to the draw.

Tickets are issued in a random lottery and those lucky enough to secure a seat will be notified closer to broadcast.

This year’s Late Late Toy Show airs on RTÉ One on Friday, 30 November