Tubs hopes to make a Chitty Chitty big bang on Toy Show
Ryan Tubridy is all set for a Chity Chitty Bang Bang-themed Toy Show tonight but he doesn't think it will beat last year's stellar ratings.
Last year's show, which boasted a 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' performance by Tubs, pulled in a record 1.4 million viewers who saw him belt out the song kitted out like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.
"I have no intention of exceeding that viewership figure from last year - I don't think that's realistic at all," he told the Herald. "I don't think we'll beat that record from last year, because it was through the roof.
"If we can get close to that I'd be delighted," he added.
But despite a self-confessed wish to "manage all expectations" about tonight's show, Ryan (41), is excited about the new theme.
"There will be no child catcher. I did want one but I lost that fight," he admitted referring to the terrifying Chitty Chitty Bang Bang character who's haunted chidren's nightmares for decades. "I thought it would add some terror, but I realised it wasn't the thing to do. It is fun though and this is a film I watched as a kid, I loved it.
"Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay for it and (James Bond author) Ian Fleming wrote the book, so it combines all my favourite things," he added.
As has become tradition in recent years Tubs will take part in the opening performance tonight.
"When I started doing the Toy Show I just had to jump out of a box and say, 'Hi' - then it became more," he said. "Singing and dancing was always a good idea, in earnest, in August - not so much in November though because singing is not easy and dancing is even harder. I've two left feet," he laughed.
This year Ryan will be kept on his toes as he performs the opening number with 46 talented children.
"I will attempt to sing three songs in one, a medley feel to it - and, of course, the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang song," he revealed. "My head's melted from having it stuck in my head for the past six weeks."
Ryan recently put out a call for people to send in Christmas jumpers and he would pick some to wear tonight and he revealed that they're "something of great wonder".
He will have four jumper changes throughout the show.
"They came in from all over Ireland. There were no naughty ones, but people went to a lot of trouble," he added.
This year's Toy Show has a record number of children appearing from all over the country, with more than 269 performers and toy testers taking part.
The toy count has reached new levels, with 200 items on display, from Disney's Frozen dolls to the usual remote control contraptions and Lego.
All the toys on the show - which kicks off at 9.30pm tonight - are donated to good causes afterwards.
This year's show will also be available to watch on RTE Player for three weeks.