Christopher (11), Fionn (10) and Angela (7) will be centre stage on this Friday night’s Late Late Toy Show.

Toy Show fun for the Purcells

ACTION Knockbride siblings set to do book reviews

Since 1975, The Late Late Toy Show has been a huge hit with both children and adults alike. In typical showbiz tradition, RTÉ confirmed that the legendary show must go on this year, and they have promised it will be ‘bigger and better than ever’.

Earlier this year they put out the call for budding performers, toy aficionado and readers to take part in the 2020 Late Late Toy Show. The call for ‘solo singers to choirs, dance troupes to drama groups or just a kid who has something to say’ was responded to by children all across the land.

One lucky Cavan family will have the distinct pleasure of not just one child on the small screen, but three. The Purcells from Seefinn, Knockbride, are sure to have a very merry Christmas as Christopher (11), Fionn (10) and Angela (7) will be centre stage in what is ‘must see’ TV for every Irish child.

Father Ciarán Purcell told the Celt about their journey that will bring them to Montrose this Friday: “The three of them applied. We got notification that Christopher and Fionn made the audition. Angela was happy for the two boys. Then they rang Annette and told her they had reviewed Angela’s audition and they wanted her to be part of the show so all three are doing the book review. They are as high as a kite and feel really, really important,” Ciarán laughed.

The Toy Show television debut for the Purcell children is another twist in this unusual year: “We are home schooling our children. It’s nothing to do with Covid. About five or six years ago, we made plans that in the ‘20 and ‘21 we would take them out of school, take a career break and go travelling see a bit of the world. It just happened that all travel was restricted in March and the plans changed quite quickly,” the father of the three budding stars explained.

Ciarán says that, given everything that is happening in the world, there is a historical significance to this Toy Show: “To be on the Toy Show is a kid’s dream come true. That fact that it is in the year when we are dealing with Covid is extra special, because everyone is looking for some glimmer of hope, something to take their mind off everything about Covid. The amount of people who have phoned us to wish us well is phenomenal.”

Mum Annette Purcell said she is just as excited as her offspring: “I grew up with the Toy Show. It’s so iconic. Fionn said to me in August that he wanted to go on the Toy Show,” she tells the Celt.

“I thought it was next to impossible to get on it, but we sent in the three videos. The boys auditioned separately. We got two phone calls because they did not realise they were brothers. We had great craic on the auditions. I didn’t think we had a hope, the boys are quite shy, but they love their books and I think that came across. They looked back on Angela’s tape and they asked for her as well.”

That love of reading is not picked off the ground: “I’m a primary teacher and I am mad about reading, but it’s in them all. They all started to read quite young and they love their books. Christopher particularly would read anything,” says Annette.

There will be a fair few eyes watching the show as last year’s saw more than 1.7 million people tuning in to watch it over the course of the weekend on a variety of RTÉ platforms. So put on your silliest Christmas jumper and join Ryan Tubridy as he presents his 12th Late Late Toy Show.