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Record ratings give Tubridy a lift

RTE broadcaster Ryan Tubridy has described record ratings for the Toy Show last Friday as a "nice end to a tricky year".

Under fire as host of 'The Late Late Show', he also faced meltdown in 2011 losing 87,000 listeners in the past 12 months to the 2FM show he inherited from the late Gerry Ryan.

However, Christmas came early for the 37-year-old when it was revealed that Friday's 'Toy Show' was the highest-rated TV show in Ireland in 17 years.

It was watched by an average of 1,414,000 viewers -- an increase of almost 7,000 viewers on last year's record-breaking audience of 1,407,700 viewers.

A delighted Ryan Tubridy told the Irish Independent: "This is a nice end to a tricky year for me. It wasn't the smoothest of years. I think that has been apparent.

"There was plenty going on and at times it was choppy but you have to remember in 2011 any problems I had were minuscule compared to what others were suffering in the country."

Collapsing children's kitchens, 'X Factor' finalist Olly Murs , and toy guitar tester Sean O'Connor (6) performing 'Highway to Hell', were among the highlights of the annual toyfest but the 'Late Late' host stressed it was a team effort.

"There were people working behind the scenes who made it a great show," he said.

The father-of-two revealed that he had been forced to apologise to one woman in the audience who had been hit with a soiled nappy from a toy doll he was demonstrating.

"It hit a lady in the face but after she got the green gunk off, she didn't mind," he said.

Mr Tubridy was speaking yesterday as he launched the second phase of the 'Write to Read' literacy campaign, a school and community based professional development model developed by Dr Eithne Kennedy from St Patrick's College. It is designed to deliver high quality literacy programmes for children.

Mr Tubridy, said he fears Budget cuts might impact on schools and libraries around the country.

Irish Independent