The countdown is well and truly on to the most magical night of the year.

On Friday, November 24, Patrick Kielty will have the eyes of the nation on his as he hosts his very first Late Late Toy Show.

From where to watch and what to expect, we've listed everything you need to know ahead of the big event.

Where and when?

The Late Late Toy Show is set to air on Friday, November 24 at 9:35 pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player. Irish Sign Language will simulcast on RTÉ News and RTÉ Player and will be available on-demand.

Living abroad?

Not to worry, this year's show will be available to watch worldwide live on the RTÉ Player on both the desktop and the app. So, no matter who you are, you can stream for free.

ISL and AD

A live Irish Sign Language (ISL) version of the Toy Show on RTÉ News Channel and RTÉ Player.

This year, for the first time ever, two Deaf interpreters will be on screen to interpret the show.

Jason Maguire and Sarah Jane O'Regan will work as the show's on-screen presenters, while Amanda Coogan and Ciara Grant will take a behind the scenes roll, feeding them information off screen.

Audio description for the Blind and Vision Impaired audience will be available for the repeats of the Toy Show on Sunday and next Monday.

Jason Maguire and Sarah Jane O'Regan. Picture: Andres Poveda

What's the theme?

The eagerly anticipated theme for this year's Late Late Toy Show has finally been announced – and it's none other than the beloved Christmas classic Elf. 

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear, and this year's show will have over 170 young performers and toy testers taking part. The children hail from all over Ireland, with the youngest elf aged just four years old. 

Smiling is his favourite, and ahead of his debut, host Patrick Kielty said: "I am so excited for my very first Toy Show and I am delighted to reveal that the theme for this year is an absolute Christmas classic - Elf, The Movie.

"Sitting down to watch it with all the family has become a big Christmas tradition in our house and I can’t wait to let Buddy and the elves loose in the Toy Show Workshop tonight. We’ve got some amazing kids, wonderful toys and lovely surprises coming your way. I really hope you have as much fun watching as we are going to have making it!" 

James Carville (12) and Paddy O'Sullivan (12) from Kells Co Meath
James Carville (12) and Paddy O'Sullivan (12) from Kells. Picture: Andres Poveda.

Which toys will be featured?

Every year, toys are kindly sent in from toy retailers all around the country, and the toys demoed by children on The Late Late Toy Show are donated to charities across the country in time for Christmas. The full list of toys featured will appear on after the show airs.

The Toy Show Appeal

The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal is a designated fund to help a range of children's charities and causes around Ireland, to be managed on RTÉ’s behalf by Community Foundation Ireland.

In operation since 2020, the generous response from viewers has helped to transform the lives of children all over Ireland, with every county on the island benefitting from grants. Last year it raised an incredible €4 million.

Banking and payments app Revolut has teamed up for the third year in a row to allow viewers to donate from their Revolut app.

Donations can be made via and by the Revolut app.

Picture Andres Poveda Kelson Lahiffe (10) from Tallaght
Kelson Lahiffe from Tallaght. Picture Andres Poveda

Who will be there?

Going by the latest ad, it seems that Kielty has touched base with the children of Ireland to confirm his toy show essentials. As well as providing lots of music and dancing, it looks like he'll be welcoming an army of toy testers to bring the magic of the Toy Show to all corners of the country and reveal the most trendy new toys of the year.

As always, details of the show are being kept under wraps, but famous faces have previously been a staple of this annual show. Whether it be Dermot Bannon or Davy Fitz, it's always amazing to see a child's face light up at the sight of their favourite personality.

Ed Sheeran was a decent surprise too.

Really, though, no celeb stands a chance of stealing the spotlight from the real stars of the night: the kids.

Children from across the country auditioned to be performers, entertainers, and toy testers - and they always stake their claim as fan favourites. Who could forget horology enthusiast John-Joe Brennan? Or Sophia Maher, who spoke about her experience with bullying?

Kids are an essential ingredient to making the magic of this show.

When did it all begin?

The Late Late Toy Show began in 1975 as a half-hour slot at the end of The Late Late Show as a way to give parents across Ireland some Christmas gift ideas while their children were sleeping.

Quickly, it grew into a one-night show in its own right, complete with child toy-testers and performers.

First presented by Gay Byrne, the mantle was handed to Pat Kenny in 1999, and remained in that position for 10 years. Ryan Tubridy took over in 2009 and held the position for an incredible 14 years. 2023 will be Patrick Kielty's first time in the role.

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Sadly, Gay Bryne passed away following a long illness at the age of 85 in 2019. Reflecting on Gay's legacy as a broadcaster and Toy Show host, Patrick Kielty said:

"I think the influence of anybody watching Gay Byrne doing the Toy Show is that nobody is going to be Gay Byrne, and if anybody hopes they're going to get only close to Gay, that is not going to happen.

Thinking back on the guests Byrne would welcome, Kielty said: "Gay treated everybody the same, and I think that's a good message in life, let alone as a host."

Who is tuning in?

Last year's Toy Show welcomed an average audience of 1.6 million, making it RTÉ's most watched programme of 2022.

Traditionally the most-watched show of the year, the annual Christmas extravaganza is a must-watch for all the family.

In fact, according to a survey published by Jurys Inn, 40% of Irish millennials have listed watching the Toy Show as their fondest throwback to their youth.

Basically, the Toy Show is for just about everyone - even Russell Crowe tunes in!

Full of incredible characters, knockout performances, amazing surprise guests, toys, gifts (there's one for everyone in the audience), everyone is invited to be part of the most phenomenal night.

Get the snacks and Christmas jammies prepped, it's time to be Toy Show ready...

The Late Late Toy Show airs on RTÉ One & RTÉ Player on Friday, Nove 24 at 9:35pm.