Late Late Toy Show is most-watched show of the year on Irish television


Saoibh Lonergan pictured with Ryan Tubridy during this year’s Late Late Toy Show.

The Late Late Toy Show remains the most-watched programme on Irish television this year after raising €3.8 million for Irish charities.

Over 1.6 million viewers tuned in across the weekend to watch host Ryan Tubridy’s portrayal of The Wizard of Oz’s Scarecrow, as well as the fantastic children including Athlone’s Ruby Burke along with Saoibh Lonergan, Lucy Hoban, Caillín Joe McDonald, Emmie O’Neill and Billy Brady who made their Toy Show debut.

The Toy Show had 303,000 streams on RTÉ Player across the weekend, with viewers watching from over 139 countries including Bolivia, Jamaica, Qatar and Ukraine. Áron Gibbons, Cealan Green and Emmie’s stand-up comedy routine were among the most-streamed clips on RTÉ Player.

Average TV viewing for Friday night’s show is now over 1.6 million, including catch-up viewing on Saturday and Sunday. An average audience of 1.33 million viewers tuned in live to RTÉ One on Friday night. An additional 296,000 watched the programme on catch-up TV, including RTÉ One +1 and the Sunday repeat.

The Toy Show Appeal has brought the total amount of much-needed funds for Irish charities to a staggering €17 million since its inception in 2020.

Host of The Late Late Show, Ryan Tubridy, said: “Friday night was a joy to be part of and that is exactly what I was, I was part of a big Toy Show family gathering. That is to say, people working behind the scenes and the children who participated. The reaction has been very gratifying and very heartening. I just got the sense that people wanted a night off from reality, they wanted a night to smile, laugh and cry together. People of all ages got something from this bizarre, beautiful show so I really want to say thank you to everyone for putting it together, for being part of it and for watching it. Happy Christmas to one and all.”

Across the last 7 days, the #LateLateToyShow garnered an incredible 39.2 million views on TikTok as the nation enjoyed the show on Friday night. RTÉ’s own social accounts generated 8.3 million video views across TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag trending on Friday night and over the weekend on TikTok and Twitter.

As a result of the huge viewership numbers for the Toy Show and the World Cup on RTÉ Player, last week saw the platform recording its highest ever weekly number of streams at 5.3 million, with 2.5 million hours of content viewed. The previous record was 2.34 million weekly streams, recorded in 2020.

RTÉ Head of RTÉ Player, Aoife Byrne, said: “It has been an extraordinary week for RTÉ Player with over double the streaming volumes of our previous weekly record. In 2023, we’ll be looking to build on these successes to make RTÉ Player a must-visit streaming destination in its own right for Irish audiences. We will be expanding our distribution, continuously improving the user experience, adding new features and functionality and growing our catalogue of quality Irish and international boxsets.”

RTÉ Director of Content, Jim Jennings, added: “RTÉ exists to serve audiences content that informs, engages, and entertains. It is great to see audiences engage in such large numbers with a diverse range of content, from the Toy Show’s uniquely Irish heart-warming moments to the thrilling sporting action of the World Cup. Our shared stories are what makes us unique and RTÉ is proud to share those stories and moments with the Irish public.”

Spain’s draw with Germany on Sunday evening was the most-watched World Cup match of last week, with an average of 521,000 viewers and a share of 38% of those watching TV at the time. There were also 131,000 live streams on the RTÉ Player. An average of 495,000 viewers tuned in to watch the 0-0 draw between USA and England on Friday, with a 40% share of those watching TV at the time and 134,000 streams on the RTÉ Player. The most-watched game to date on RTÉ Player was Argentina v Saudi Arabia last Tuesday 22nd November, with 255,000 live streams.

The 28 games so far in the World Cup have generated 3.1m live streams on the RTÉ Player, an average of 112,000 live streams per game.

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