Wednesday 24 January 2018

Meet the teenage girl who has been the voice of Peppa Pig since she was five-years-old

Harley Bird has voiced Peppa since she was five-years-old. Photo credit: BBC
Harley Bird has voiced Peppa since she was five-years-old. Photo credit: BBC
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

Peppa Pig has been a prominent influence in the lives of Irish children for more than a decade and so too has she played a huge part in the life of teenager Harley Bird, who has voiced the snorting cartoon since she was five-years-old.

The 15-year-old schoolgirl was tracked down by BBC News this week, and spoke about being the voice behind one of the world’s most beloved children’s cartoon characters.

The red-haired teenager admitted she can’t really remember her early days as Peppa Pig because she was "so tiny" when the show first debuted on the UK’s Channel 5 in 2004.

Speaking to the BBC, Harley said: "I was five years old when I started Peppa. I can’t really remember much because I was tiny. I had to go to an audition for it and they listened to my voice and I sounded like a four-year-old pig so I got the job."

Harley Bird revealed that she was so little that she couldn’t even read when she first started voicing Peppa. Photo credit: BBC
Harley Bird revealed that she was so little that she couldn’t even read when she first started voicing Peppa. Photo credit: BBC

The teenager revealed that she was so little that she couldn’t even read when she first started voicing Peppa.

"I can remember going into the studio for the first time and I couldn’t read at all. It’s kind of difficult when you’ve got a five-year-old who's meant to be reading the script.

Harley lives in Hertfordshire with her own pet pigs Peppa and George
Harley lives in Hertfordshire with her own pet pigs Peppa and George

"All the Peppa guys used to speak and tell me how they wanted me to say the line and I just got used to copying them. As well as doing an amazing job they were also teaching me how to read as well."

Harley continues to voice the pig even as she’s grown up and says she finds it easy to get into that mindset.

"As I’ve gotten older, my voice has changed. You have to make yourself believe that you’re a four-year-old pig so I have to go a bit higher and more childlike and a bit more cheeky with the way I talk."

Harley said Peppa has had a huge influence on her life and landing the role was life-changing. She now dreams of starring in big-budget Hollywood movies, but first will play the starring role in her first film Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience which hits the big screen in April.

Harley Bird has voiced Peppa since she was five-years-old. Photo credit: BBC
Harley Bird has voiced Peppa since she was five-years-old. Photo credit: BBC

"It started me on the road through my acting career and I really want to be in a Marvel film or something really cool like that because I am a kick boxer, a black-belt, and I’ve been doing that for ages, so Peppa is a black-belt. I’d love to do something like that with some action in it," she said.

Harley lives in Hertfordshire with her parents Gill and Craig, her brother Rosco and sisters Taylor and Olivia and her pet pigs, aptly named Peppa and George.

Peppa Pig is broadcast in over 180 territories in over 40 languages and makes $1bn in revenue each year.
Peppa Pig is broadcast in over 180 territories in over 40 languages and makes $1bn in revenue each year.

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