Talented Ellie (9) wins spot on popular Late Late Toy Show

Ellie Reynolds auditioning for The Late Late Toyshow in Sligo. 'Photo: James Connolly. INPT47-004
Ellie Reynolds auditioning for The Late Late Toyshow in Sligo. 'Photo: James Connolly. INPT47-004

A talented Portadown girl has been selected from thousands of hopefuls to appear on the Late Late Toy Show.

Ellie Reynolds, who turns nine today (Friday), won over the judges at a regional audition in Sligo with her rendition of ‘Reflection’ from the Disney film Mulan.

And the P5 Portadown Integrated Primary School pupil was in tears when she heard that she was one of the lucky performers selected to appear on the iconic show which will be broadcast live next Friday, November 27, at 9.35pm.

Ellie is no stranger to performing for an audience. In April she played the role of Little Inez in the St Agnes’ (Belfast) Choral Society production of Hairspray.

In fact, she was nominated for a musical society award for her performance, winning runner-up in all of Ireland.

Closer to home, she came second in this year’s Portadown’s Got Talent and has performed in numerous productions with Banbridge Musical Society and MADS.

Ellie’s mum Orla said her daughter has always had the performing ‘bug’. She began singing lessons when she was four with Christine Fairley musical theatre in Portadown, which she still attends.

She is also a member of Little Starz Academy in Brownlow.

The Late Late Toy Show, which previews popular toys of the year, tested by children themselves, has been airing since 1975 and has become something of an institution, often notching up the distinction of the most watched programme of the year on RTE.

This was the first year that The Late Late Toy Show had travelled outside of Dublin in search of performers to appear on the show, holding auditions in Cork, Athlone, Sligo and Dublin.

A spokesperson for RTE said that thousands of children had applied and hundreds were seen over the course of the four days so it was a real feat to make it through to the show itself.

Ellie, who had been invited to the Sligo audition after sending in a DVD of her performing, was accompanied by her mum and her nana and granddad, Norah and Gerard Reynolds, also from Portadown.

There she met the show’s host Ryan Tubridy who, said Orla, was just as charming as he appears on TV. She said, “He calls himself a ‘kidult’. He goes down on his hunkers to speak to the children so he is on their level.”

The Late Late Toy Show producer Katherine Drohan said the variety and standard of acts auditioning had been “phenomenal”.

Ellie will have a couple of auditions before the big night and while the acts are being kept hush-hush, it can be revealed that she is part of a singing/dancing group and will have some solo lines.