If there’s one thing that always signals the start of Christmas for many Irish children it’s The Late Late Toy Show.
And as an adult, no matter whether you’ve failed to get on it, or failed to get tickets to it, you’ll end up watching it year on year – you might even end up writing about it, like I have, year after year.
This year, I’m living in London when it’s due to air, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be watching.
Especially not when last year’s Late Late Toy Show watching antics landed me a Sunday morning natter on national radio.
Since moving to the UK I’ve had great craic explaining some Irish televisual traditions to new friends.
Not content with merely talking about them, I managed to convince my editors to allow me pen a piece on the Rose of Tralee, dabbled in a spot of Strictly Come Daniel, and even brought The Great Irish Bake Off to an English audience.
But, without doubt, my most memorable experience was introducing the boyfriend to the aforementioned ‘Lovely Girls’ competition via RTÉ Player in my West London kitchen in August.
Daithí Ó’Sé, the Roses and the escorts made quite the impression on him, and wee Daniel’s dancing proved too much for the young Welsh lad to handle. Little did he realise he’d seen Danny Boy singing live in Cardiff when he was a kid.
Putting me to shame when it comes to my own culture, so he is.
But he’s never EVER experienced the wonders of the Late Late Toy Show. Until I came along, he’d never even heard of it.
And so, this Friday night, I get to experience the magic and mayhem all over again by introducing him to the Toy Show via RTÉ Player International.
Yes, I can watch the Toy Show LIVE here in London, and so can the thousands like me who’ve headed off to pastures new around the world.
I don’t know about them but, for me at least, after almost 10 months living in London (I’m only here a wet week sure lads, I’m practically still a blow in) the thoughts of settling in to watch Tubs do his ‘thang’ with the kids makes that old shared house sofa seem a whole lot more homely.