A big day for Peppa fans out there – the voice actor for Peppa Pig, Harley Bird, has stepped down from her role which she had for 13 years.
Eighteen-year-old Harley, who has voiced 185 episodes of the programme and even won a BAFTA in 2011, said that her time on the hugely successful children’s series had been “the start of an incredible journey”, and added that her colleagues had given her “unforgettable memories”.
Harley was the third person to voice TV’s most famous pig, following Lily Snowden-Fine and Cecily Bloom. The role will now be taken over by nine-year-old Amelie Bea Smith, whose agent said she had been a “huge fan of the show since she was little” and that it was a “dream come true”.
Neville Astley and Mark Baker, the British animators behind the show, said they were delighted that Smith was joining the team, as well as citing the strong legacy of the previous Peppa voice actors, including Bird, whom they described as “a key part of the success of Peppa Pig”.
The Guardian reported today that ‘Peppa Pig has become one of the most recognisable and lucrative children’s cartoon franchises in the world since it debuted on Channel 5 in 2004. Airing in 118 territories, the Peppa brand also garners huge sales of merchandise across the globe, notably in the US and China, with the character’s trademark pink, skewwhiff face found on merchandise from baking sets to jewellery. Last August, toy giant Hasbro purchased the Canadian company that owns the rights to the show, Entertainment One, for $3.3bn. ‘
image credit: Peppa Pig