Knockananna native Paul Cana is the talk of the village after the lucky west Wicklow man won two free tickets to this Friday’s Late Late Toy Show.
Not only did a delighted Paul win two tickets to the hottest show in town this weekend, he also landed an overnight stay in the plush Shelbourne Hotel and a much welcomed €5,000 in cash ahead of the festive season.
Paul is a big fan of the Late Late Show and was an audience member 20 years ago, when snooker player Ken Doherty and pop singer-turned-presenter Brian McFadden were guests. However, as Paul explained, the draw of the Toy Show is on a different level altogether
“There’s a competition on the Late Late Show every week and this one happened to be for two tickets to the Toy Show,” Paul said. “So, I thought: ‘Why not?’. It must have been about 10.45 by the time I entered, but they rang me back about half an hour later and told me I was on a shortlist.
“They had me waiting on the phone for about 25 minutes before they got back to me to tell me that I was in the final part of it. The lady told me: ‘Now, if Ryan Tubridy come on, just say that you’re Paul Cana and just talk to him… normal for a minute or two!
“So, I was as much in the dark as anyone else I suppose,” Paul continued. “I knew I was in with a chance, and they kept telling me not to hang up, but I wanted to watch the show! The lady then eventually got back to me again to say there were three of us remaining.”
“Paul explained that the more he waited, the more he expected to be disappointed. He kept thinking to himself: ‘They have surely told the winner by now. They must have forgotten me’. Then, all of sudden, came a male voice on the other end of the line.
“He (Mr Tubridy) just asked me out of the blue if I was Paul Cana from Knockananna, and I said straight away that I was,” Paul recalled. “Then he offered me two tickets to the Toy Show and I said: Well, of course I would!’.
“Then Tubridy said: ‘I’m assuming the €5,000 is okay with you too?’, and I told him, quite promptly, that I was fine with that too.”
Once the adrenaline rush of victory had subsided Paul took some time to consider who should accompany him. There were so many to invite, and no-one was going to say no to this show. After much contemplation, he decided to make it a family affair.
“After mulling it over for a while, I decided to bring both of my parents,” Paul said. “My thinking was, I’d bring my father to the show, because he would love to go Toy Show, and I would bring my mother, because she has always wanted to stay in the Shelbourne.
“So, we’re all going to stay in the hotel, which is going to be an experience in itself. It’s not every day you get to stay at some where like that, and I don’t think I’ll be back there again! Ah, it’ll be a bit of fun. They must have the fanciest shampoos and soaps around!”
Paul’s exclusive Toy Show package will begin tomorrow afternoon when a chauffeur collects him and his parents from his Knockananna home in a luxury car at 2 p.m. From there the Cana family will travel in style to the Shelbourne Hotel, where they will arrive just in time for afternoon tea.
They’ll have a chance to spruce up, before they’re whisked over to RTÉ’s studios to join the other lucky audience members at the Toy Show. After the show it’s back to the Shelbourne for some well-earned shut-eye, followed by another chauffeur driven ride back to the Garden County.
Keep an eye out for Paul and his dad when the Late Late Toy Show airs on RTÉ 1 this Friday, November 25 at 9.35 p.m. He should be easy to spot – just look for the man with the biggest grin in the audience!