The institution that is The Late Late Toy Show has proved its as popular as ever with the show raking in its highest number of viewers since 2011, and once again becoming the most-watched programme on Irish Television this year.

We really are just MAD about it, with 1.4 million people tuning in while it was viewed in 102 countries worldwide.

Four in five people watching television at the time were tuned into The Late Late Toy Show on Friday night with an average audience share of 77%.

Ryan Tubridy said; "We had an absolute ball putting together this year’s Late Late Toy Show and I am really happy to see that people appreciated it in such tremendous numbers. I didn’t think it was possible to better last year’s show but it is a credit to producer Katherine Drohan, her team and, of course, the children who were the real stars of the show that we were able to pull it off. I want to send a big thank you to everyone who took part and all the people watching for making this one of the biggest and best Toy Shows ever".

This year’s Jungle Book-themed show featured more than 320 young performers and toy demonstrators with surprise guest appearances from Dermot Bannon, Jamie Heaslip and Rory McIlroy.

Late Late Toy Show producer Katherine Drohan said: "The response to Friday night’s Toy Show has been absolutely phenomenal. This year’s programme was months in the planning, so, to see it all come together and connect with the audience so well is really gratifying. We had some brilliant kids on this year’s show and they brought the magic that makes the Toy Show such a special night. They were ably abetted by Ryan who, once again, embraced the madness with the gusto we have come to expect from him, particularly in the opening number. I want to thank everybody behind the scenes who made it happen from my own team to RTÉ’s costume department and the students at IADT who created those fabulous puppets".

On RTÉ Player, live streaming of The Late Late Toy Show was up 63 per cent on last year. The show’s popularity spread right across the world, with viewers streaming it in 102 countries outside of Ireland. From the Cayman Islands to Lebanon, Jamaica, Qatar and Nepal, this year The Late Late Toy Show attracted the highest volume of international streams in recent years. The top five countries streaming internationally were the UK, US, Australia, Spain and Canada.

Channel controller RTÉ One and RTÉ2, Adrian Lynch said: "It is really wonderful to see that audiences continue to embrace The Late Late Toy Show in such huge numbers. The fact that four in five people watching television in Ireland at the time were tuned in to the Toy Show demonstrates how much it really connects with the audience. This is event television at its best and with more than 90 per cent of children***** watching TV at the time enthralled by Ryan and a cast of hundreds, it really marks the start of the festive season."