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Ryan Tubridy says Toy Show needs to be ‘realistic’ as it tackles cost of living crisis

“Santa can only do so much — and we’re very clear about that, so we tread carefully.”

Ryan Tubridy hosts the Late Late Toy Show

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Ryan Tubridy has opened up about hosting The Late Late Toy Show during a difficult year for families’ finances.

The RTÉ star is set to present the Irish festive favourite for the 14th year in a row and has told Chic Magazine about the challenges facing the show.

Tubridy said an awareness of “all of the big, serious issues that adults — and also kids — deal with in their own way” is important for The Toy Show this year,” RSVP reports.

“The show’s always very cognisant of what’s happening in the real world and beyond the fantasy world of the Toy Show,” he said.

"That will be reflected, in the show, the cost of living crisis; the Ukraine crisis.

"It’s very discreet, though — you have to be very delicate when you’re dealing with kids and families, broadly speaking.

“The cost of living crisis will be done in the nature of the toys, the amount of toys, the cost of the materials for Santa and the else to put the toys together — we’re always very conscious of that.

“Whereas once upon a time, you might’ve said, ‘this toy is huge, great fun’ or whatever, you just tone it down and say, ‘absolutely not’.

"I mean, I would really not be happy with overly expensive toys in there in abundance, because it’s not realistic. Santa can only do so much — and we’re very clear about that, so we tread carefully.”

According to RSVP, the host admitted that the show gets “a little bit harder” every year.

“This is our 14th year with me at the helm and it does get a little bit harder, if I’m being honest. The first few years, you’re going, ‘I want to do this, I want to do this, I want to do this’ — and then it’s like, ‘well, where can we go now?’

“This year, a lot of it was about home. I don’t think the couch at home has ever been more important.

"People want a home, they want a house, they want to be with their loved ones. We’re kind of capturing that with the return to basics.

“The theme is often decided upon and run by and fuelled by the mood of the country in the lead up to the show.

"Sometimes, it can be fantasy if we need pure escape. Sometimes we need a hug. Sometimes we just need joy,” he said, happy that masks and strict pandemic guidelines are a thing of Christmas past.

The Late Late Toy Show airs on November 25 this year, marking the 47th anniversary of the programme.

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