AS HE prepares for the Toy Show, Ryan Tubridy has said that he feels no guilt about his earnings; and believes he can achieve something in his role as a public servant.
Asked if these tales of hardship made him feel guilty about his own salary, he said: "No it doesn't. I basically feel that I can try to do something as a public servant in some respects, in a public service broadcaster way and think; 'Let's try and make a difference in any way that we can and I think we can'.
Play-acting with some of the 130 children taking part in tonight's show, the father-of-two said he believed this year had been terrible for many people.
"People have had an awful, awful year. I think 2011 has been a shocking year, a really bad year -- arguably the worst I have seen," he said.
The 2fm star said stories on his radio show had brought it home how tough it was for some.
"We're really tapping into a lot of that, whereby we are hearing stories from a lot of people who are really in the horrors," he said.
"The guy who sent in a photograph of €3 and 70 cent, with a picture of his kids saying, 'I don't want Christmas'. No man should ever say that, no one should ever say that," he said.
There will be a strong emphasis on Irish-made toys on the show tonight, with the majority of items costing less than €70.
New figures from RTE show Mr Tubridy earned almost €520,000 in 2009.
Tonight's show will have a 'Toy Story' theme, with a special opening act performing a song from the film.
And the 37-year-old was adamant yesterday that he would be back in the zany Christmas jumper next year.
Mr Tubridy's contract with the station is up next year and, with his profile rising during a number of stand-in slots on BBC radio, there has been increasing speculation his career might soon be focused in the UK.
However, speaking yesterday on the set of the 'Toy Show', Mr Tubridy said he would be remaining with the national broadcaster.
"I'll be here next year. I will definitely be here next year -- if RTE want me," he told the Irish Independent.
"The contract is due to be signed in 2012, and I am really looking forward to 2012, put it that way."
But he said he expected his stint on the talk show would be closer in length to the decade of Pat Kenny than the 37-year run of Gay Byrne.
"I think Pat had the right idea in terms of the right duration. Could you do any job for 37 years? I'd go mad," he said.
"So no, I think Pat was in the right zone, maybe 10 years is enough for anyone. I'm fudging it in the sense that I don't want to say to you, 'I'm only going to do it for 10 years and then sit here in 12 years'.
"It would be silly of me to give you a definitive answer. But I would be heading down that direction, rather than the 30-something," he said.