'Late Late Toy Show' viewers across Ireland were reduced to tears last night when Sergeant Graham Burke surprised his children with an early return from a mission in Mali.
The father-of-three is part of an Irish peacekeeping mission in the African state and his children did not expect him to return in time for Christmas.
But in tear-jerking scenes he surprised his kids by bursting from a huge Christmas present to delighted cries.
Even presenter Ryan Tubridy could not hold back his tears as Sergeant Burke’s children rushed forward to hug their father with the crowd rising to their feet and cheering.
Adam, eight, and Kayla, six, had been on the late night talk show’s festive special, an Irish television institution, as official “toy-testers”.
RTEAn Irish soldier gave his children the best possible Christmas gift
They told Tubridy their father was not able to watch their appearance on TV because he was in Africa taking part in a training mission.
Adam said: “He can't watch the Toy Show because he's in Mali, training the soldiers.
"He's been there for six months but he's coming back in January and then I think he's going again for another month."
Tubridy feigned surprise before leading the