More than 1.3 million people watched The Late Late Toy Show over the weekend making it the most watched programme on Irish television this year.

The Little Mermaid themed show, hosted by Ryan Tubridy, was watched by an average audience of 1.2 million live* on the night, a 72 per cent share** of the audience watching television at the time. A further 107,000 viewers watched their recording of the show on Saturday and 42,000 viewers did the same on Sunday.

The audience peaked at 1.34 million viewers and the show had a reach*** of 1,732,500 viewers who tuned in for a minute or more of the broadcast. Nine out of ten children watching television on the night were tuned into The Late Late Toy Show.

In addition, the Saturday repeat of the show was watched by an average audience of 134,300 viewers.

Over the week, 2,219,900 people tuned into The Late Late Toy Show and behind the scenes documentary The Late Late Toy Show Unwrapped, cementing the show’s place as the Irish television event of the year.

Host Ryan Tubridy said: “It never ceases to amaze me how many people hold The Late Late Toy Show so dear. The fact that so many people let us become part of their world over the weekend is really heartening and the reaction I have been getting from people since the show has been overwhelming. I want to thank the stars of our show, the children, from little Tadhg letting me drag him around the studio floor to that very special moment when the Burke family was reunited. The team, led by producer Nigel Power, put together something truly memorable and I’m delighted to see that viewers embraced it.”

Last Friday night’s show is on course to become one of the top ten programmes on Irish television this century when full consolidated viewing figures are tallied next week.

Late Late Toy Show producer Nigel Power said: “With this year’s Toy Show we wanted to have lots of fun but also reflect the Ireland we are living in today. We had children from all sorts of backgrounds and abilities and they all did a brilliant job on the night. The show was months in the planning and I want to thank everyone who worked so hard both behind and in front of the camera to make it such a special night.”


On RTÉ Player the show had almost 93,000 live streams, up 11 per cent on last year. The show was watched in 109 countries outside of Ireland with viewers logging on across the globe from Germany to Fiji, Russia to New Zealand, and Mongolia to the island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean. The show was also streamed in Mali where, no doubt, the Defence Forces personnel, serving alongside Sgt Graham Burke on a peacekeeping mission, watched as he was reunited with his family live on the show.

The Burke family’s reunification went viral with more than 1 million views between the RTÉ One Facebook, @RTELateLateShow and @rte Twitter accounts and Late Late Show YouTube pages. In addition, the clip of Sgt Burke being reunited with his children Adam (8), Kayla (6) and Emily (4) went international with the moment viewed 900,000 times on the BBC News Facebook page.

This year’s show was lauded on social media with #LateLateToyShow trending number one worldwide on Twitter on Friday night and trending in Ireland across the weekend. In addition, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube views of clips issued from the show topped 2 million views.

RTÉ Director of Audiences, Channels and Marketing, Adrian Lynch said: The Late Late Toy Show has become a national event, connecting Irish audiences like no other, whether in Ireland or abroad. This year’s show was both heartwarming and emotional, with wonderful young talent showcased from around the country, reflecting a modern and diverse Ireland and some of the harsh realities they face. Ryan and the team work tirelessly every year, trawling the country to uncover talent and to deliver the best possible experience to viewers. I’m delighted that the show brought people together in such massive numbers to share the occasion. I think it’s fair to say we were all moved!”


Ratings Source: TAM Ireland Ltd / Nielsen TAM 

*Average audience (Live+VOSDAL – Live + Viewed on Same Day As Live) –The average number of viewers across a programme or series, expressed in 000s. TV viewing is measured minute-by-minute, so the average audience is the average across all of these minutes. Average audience was 1,175,800. **Share – The percentage of the total audience watching television at the time. Share was 72 per cent.

***Reach, Live + VOSDAL – Reach is the number of people who tuned in for at least a minute of the show. Reach was 1,732,500.

****Share among Children 4-14 years old was 90 per cent.