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What it takes to get a coveted Late Late Toy Show ticket

90,000 people - more than the population of Westmeath - have applied for tickets in just five days

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Ryan Tubridy.

Ryan Tubridy.

Ryan Tubridy.

So you thought you could just slap your email address into a box on the RTE website to be in with a chance of securing a highly coveted Late Late Toy Show ticket?

You fool.

"They are the hottest tickets since Willy Wonka" declares the RTE press release and they're not wrong. 

Since applications opened last Friday, more than 90,000 people have applied for tickets to the show which will broadcast live from Donnybrook on Friday, November 29.

That's 2,000 more people than the population of Westmeath vying for less than 150 tickets.

The application process is quick, although not quite so quick as you might imagine.

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Corey Beau Lynch aged 6 from Coolock, Dublin on The Late Late Toy Show 2018. Picture Andres Poveda / RTE

Corey Beau Lynch aged 6 from Coolock, Dublin on The Late Late Toy Show 2018. Picture Andres Poveda / RTE

Andres Poveda

Corey Beau Lynch aged 6 from Coolock, Dublin on The Late Late Toy Show 2018. Picture Andres Poveda / RTE

The online form requests that you tell them about yourself, and why you and your guest want to attend the Toy Show.

There are also several optional questions kicking off with, 'How do you prepare for the Christmas period in your home/family?'.

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Mya (8) & Ria (6) Morrissey from Lismore, Co. Waterford with Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Toy Show 2018. Picture Andres Poveda / RTE

Mya (8) & Ria (6) Morrissey from Lismore, Co. Waterford with Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Toy Show 2018. Picture Andres Poveda / RTE

Andres Poveda

Mya (8) & Ria (6) Morrissey from Lismore, Co. Waterford with Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Toy Show 2018. Picture Andres Poveda / RTE

And, 'The Toy Show is a huge part of Irish Christmas tradition. Do you share this tradition with anyone abroad? Did you grow up with the Toy Show tradition or are you part of the new Irish that has been introduced to the Toy Show in recent years?'

You can also tell the show what your ONE CHRISTMAS WISH would be and why and whether or not you'd be willing to take part in any audience games or interaction - and, if so, why you'd like to take part.

There's also an opportunity to boast about any party piece or special talent you would perform on the show if you had to.

Despite these (albeit mostly optional) hoops through which applicants need to leap in order to be in the running, demand for seats is set to surpass previous years.

"We are gobsmacked by the response this year, it just gets bigger and bigger, everyone seems to want to be there," said host Ryan Tubridy, who is likely already practicing his opening number in the shower of a morning.

"I think it's also in response to how warm and kind and inclusive the show is...people want a piece of that pie and I don't blame them, it's the most wonderful cauldron to be in and the most wonderful time of the year. 

"If I wasn't doing what I do, I would also be among the 100,000 applicants for tickets because it's the best show in town."

Aside from the ticket applications, there have been a further 5,000 applications from acts hoping to perform live on the show.

The past few years have seen the show hold auditions across the country and this year they kick off in Cork and Dublin next week.

The Toy Show team has been whittling those 5,000 online applications down to 100 and these are the acts who will compete in Cork and Dublin for a chance to make it to the live show.

Traditionally the most-watched programme of the year in Ireland, las tyear it drew an audience of 1.5 million to RTÉ One on November 30, including 88 per cent of children in Ireland.

Applications for tickets to the Toy Show are still open and can be found here: www.rte.ie/latelate.  There will also be competitions on RTE's social media channels for tickets in the coming weeks.

Online Editors