Tubridy in stitches after Toy Show jumpers labelled a crime
THEY are the garish geansais. The jumped-up jumpers. The pullovers from hell.
For weeks the woolly wonders have been arriving into RTE from around the country. For the tradition of the 'Toy Show' presenter wearing a Christmas jumper is as festive as mistletoe.
"Some of the sweaters we got in this year are so bad, the people who knitted them should be put on trial in the Hague for crimes against Christmas," host Ryan Tubridy told the Irish Independent ahead of this Friday's show.
Off-colour Santas are out, so too are reindeer and snowmen, with the 37-year-old settling for what he describes as a "blue arctic" pullover which will be revealed on Friday night.
But viewers' first vision of Mr Tubridy will be as 'Woody', everybody's favourite old- fashioned pull-string Cowboy from the movie 'Toy Story'.
"I've tried on the costume and I can tell you I look absolutely ridiculous. Woody wears a wide-brimmed hat and cowboy boots too, but it's worth it for the recognition from the kids. Everybody knows and loves Woody and 'Toy Story'," he said.
But if the opening of the annual toyfest recreates a US movie, there will be a special emphasis on promoting Irish toys throughout the programme.
"That is critical for us. Some people will say it's cheaper buying off the internet. But if we want the jobs to still be there after Christmas, we need to buy Irish, and we are going to do our bit by showing off Irish toys," he said.
And Mr Tubridy will have help from four special toy-testers: the Morris quads from Callan, Co Kilkenny.
Their proud mum, Mary, described it as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for Samantha, Michael, Nicola and Mandy to take part in the programme.
The nine-year-olds were invited to audition for the 'Toy Show' after 'Sligo Twinfest' organisers Patrick Ward sent a DVD of them into the programme.
"The phone call to say they were going on the 'Toy Show' came just as I was putting them to bed one night. I didn't tell them because I knew they wouldn't get a wink of sleep," Mrs Morris told the Irish Independent.
They will be joined by more than 130 children and guests which include former 'X Factor' singer Olly Murs.
Last year's 'Toy Show' was the most-watched TV programme on Irish TV in 16 years, with an average of 1.4 million viewers and a 72pc share of the audience.