The Late Late Toy Show auditions hit Athlone on Tuesday, with acts from across the Midlands and Connaught competing for a coveted spot on the biggest show in Irish television.
There was enormous excitement as young performers ranging from six years of age and upwards sang, danced, and performed their hearts out at the auditions held in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone. Toy Show host Ryan Tubridy was on hand to lend his support to the nervous young hopefuls as they waited for their chance to shine in front of the Toy Show team.
This is the first year the Toy Show has travelled outside of Dublin in search of performers to appear on the show. Ryan Tubridy said: “The atmosphere is electric. There is a buzz. It is magnificent. Hitting the road has been a valuable exercise because what we wanted to do was feel closer to the kids around the country. We are road-testing this audition tour and judging by what we are seeing, it’s been a great decision. The standard of talent is very high which only bodes well for this year’s Toy Show”.
Getting to this stage in the audition process is an achievement in itself. The Toy Show team has been inundated with applications this year and have watched every single audition tape so making it through to the regional auditions was no easy feat.
A total of 13 performers or groups auditioned in Athlone. Late Late Toy Show producer, Katherine Drohan, said: “We have had an unprecedented number of entries. We viewed audition tapes from thousands and thousands of young entertainers, two to three times as many as we’ve had previously. The standard is extremely high and, already between the Cork and Athlone auditions, I can see that we are going to have a very tough time deciding who is going to perform on the night.”
The performers who will make it onto the show will not be told until much closer to the November 27 broadcast. The Late Late Toy Show audition tour has already visited Cork and Sligo, with Dublin auditions to follow on Monday, October 19.
There was also great excitement on the streets in Athlone as passersby took snaps of themselves with The Late Late Toy Show car to share on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #latelatetoyshow in the hope of winning the first two tickets for this year’s programme. The competition ran throughout the three days as The Late Late Toy Show car made its way around the country with the winner to be announced on The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1.
With more than 200,000 people applying for tickets to last year’s show, the competition represents a rare opportunity to get in ahead of the rush for the most coveted tickets in Ireland.