REVEALED: Theme and set of this year’s Late Late Toy Show

The theme of this year’s Late Late Toy Show has been revealed as host Ryan Tubridy and a cast of hundreds get ready for the biggest night on Irish television.

Together they will be diving under the sea as the theme of this year’s Late Late Toy Show takes inspiration from the classic Disney animated film The Little Mermaid.

The Late Late Toy Show host, Ryan Tubridy, pictured with some of the children who will be appearing in this year's live show on Friday December 1. (Photo: Andres Poveda/Andres Poveda Photography)

The Late Late Toy Show host, Ryan Tubridy, pictured with some of the children who will be appearing in this year's live show on Friday December 1. (Photo: Andres Poveda/Andres Poveda Photography)

The Late Late Toy Show airs tonight [Friday, December 1] at 9.35pm on RTÉ One, and will be available to watch worldwide for free on RTÉ Player.

Late Late Toy Show host Ryan Tubridy said: “This is going to be really special. I have wanted to do The Little Mermaid for the Toy Show for years and, at last, my ship has come in! I can honestly say that it is like nothing you have ever seen on the show before and I think people are really going to enjoy it.

"There’s something in it for absolutely everyone in the family. My costume is a sight to behold but I am loving everything about this year's opening. I invite everyone to forget about the flotsam and jetsam of modern life, come where the people are and be part of our world for a couple of hours tonight. It’s going to be great fun.”

This year’s Late Late Toy Show boasts a huge cast with more than 200 talented young performers and 28 charming toy testers taking part.

The children come from all over Ireland with the youngest just four-years-old.

As always, Ryan and the Late Late Toy Show elves have a few surprises up their sleeves and all will be revealed as the show goes on.

Late Late Toy Show producer Nigel Power said: “We're really excited to share this year's Late Late Toy Show with everyone. We've created a truly magical world with a magnificent set and an opening filled with colour. The show is packed with toys, talent and surprises that make the Toy Show an unmissable night for kids and adults alike.”

The nautically themed set has been created by RTÉ production designers Marcella Power and Catherine Sorg.

The RTÉ Costume and Make-up Departments were all aboard with this year’s theme and have been travelling at full-steam over the past weeks leaving no octopus tentacle unattached and no fin un-ironed as they ready the cast for Friday’s extravaganza.

Head of RTÉ’s Costume Department Brigette Horan said: “We were really excited when we heard that the theme for this year’s show was The Little Mermaid – it opened up a whole world of possibilities for us creatively. It has been a delight to work on and we hope people like what they see, especially Ryan’s costume.”

As with every Late Late Toy Show, a number of charities have nominated children to experience the magic of the set for themselves in advance of tonight’s show. This year children from LauraLynn Children's Hospice, The Jack and Jill Children's Foundation, Temple Street Children's University Hospital, Our Lady's Children Hospital, Crumlin, and Barnados will get a sneak preview of the set and get to play with the toys.

Their visit will be captured onscreen and will be aired during the show.

All toys featured on the show will be donated to charity following the broadcast.

Earlier in the night, The Late Late Toy Show Unwrapped brings viewers a glimpse at the week leading up to the Toy Show at 7pm on RTÉ One.

For the second year running, The Late Late Toy Show excitement kicks off live on social media.

TV presenter Baz Ashmawy will be bringing viewers on a special behind the scenes look at the final preparations for this year’s show as Ryan and friends get ready to go live to the nation.

The Late Late ToyShow: The Final Countdown will be broadcast live on RTÉ One’s Facebook page and The Late Late Show's Twitter profile.

You can keep an eye on all the action on Twitter by following @RTELateLateShow and @RTEOne and the hashtag #LateLateToyShow. There will also be updates throughout the night on the RTÉ One and Late Late Show Facebook accounts. On Instagram you can follow the action on the rteone account. Feel free to tag @rteone in pics of you watching at home or abroad which may be re-shared!

No matter where you are The Late Late Toy Show will be 'Part of Your World' on the night with the show available to watch worldwide for free, both live and on demand for up to 30 days, on RTÉ Player across Desktop, iOS and Android.

Last year the show was viewed live in 102 countries outside of Ireland.

In the lead up to the main event, viewers around the world can also watch a host of clips and extras on RTÉ Player featuring some of the best moments from The Late Late Toy Show over the years in The Late Late Toy Show Collection.

A list of the toys featured will be available on the show’s website www.rte.ie/tv/latelate following broadcast.