Homeless children among those due to feature on tonight's Late Late Toy Show

Homeless children among those due to feature on tonight's Late Late Toy Show

HOMELESS children are to feature in tonight's RTÉ The Late Late Toy Show it has emerged.

Host Ryan Tubridy revealed homeless children will feature, but will not be identified on the programme due to screen tonight.

This year's Toy Show will take a nautical theme, taking inspiration from Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale The Little Mermaid and will feature 240 children and 28 toy testers.

This year children from LauraLynn Children’s Hospice, the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Our Lady’s Children Hospital, Crumlin, and Barnados got a sneak preview of the set and the toys and their visit will be captured onscreen and will be aired during the show.

All of the toys featured on the show will be donated to charity after the broadcast.

Speaking in the set of The Late Late Toy Show in Montrose yesterday, Tubridy said: "The show has this other side that we can’t discuss in great detail because we feel, I know I do, that we have a responsibility to mind children.

"For example, there are over 3,000 children homeless and I find that preposterous and really not acceptable in 2017.

"We’re really aware of it, I’ve been talking about it at some length on the radio and to the team.

"Homeless children will feature tomorrow night and we won’t be telling [the viewers] that this child is or this child is.

“Yes it’s fun, yes there are toys and yes childhood is magic but it shouldn’t be the case that a child is watching the Toy Show in a room, on a hotel bed with three other family members and has to get up the next morning and walk by a bunch of guys who are still drinking from the night before. That’s not good.

"That’s going to be on our mind tomorrow…Childhood should be happy and we as a state have a responsibility to mind children. We’re not great at that, I think."

Elsewhere on the programme, viewers will also be treated to a special performance by the Holy Family School for the Deaf from Cabra.

The 18 members of the children's choir, who are aged four to 12, will sign to their chosen music.

Ryan Tubridy has said there will be a few tear jerking moments on tonight's broadcast admitting he even cried a few "man tears" when watching a few of the acts practice.

But even if this is his ninth year hosting the Christmas special, he says he always gets a bit of pre-show jitters.

"I’m giddy with excitement about it, but I do also realise there’s a weight of expectation, it’s about the kids looking up going 'you better be good.'"

Tune into the Toy Show on RTÉ One from 9.35pm tonight or find how you can watch internationally here.