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The © Entertainment One The "Peppa Pig" characters Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig, Peppa Pig, and George. Entertainment One
  • Richard Ridings has been the voice of Daddy Pig on "Peppa Pig" for 18 years.
  • He recorded the first season of the show all in one go before the other characters were cast.
  • He said he considers himself incredibly lucky to be able to play such a beloved character.

Ask any parent of a young child if they know the name of an English-accented porky pink pig, and they'll know to answer Peppa. "Peppa Pig," a children's-TV institution, first aired in 2004 in the UK and has since graced the televisions of families around the world.

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While a few actors have voiced Peppa, Daddy Pig has been voiced by only one man, Richard Ridings.

By chance, all those years ago, Ridings was having a drink with Phil Davies, the producer of the show, at a social event when it struck Davies that Ridings could be the perfect voice for his newest children's animated television series.

"I went to the studio and saw some of the initial scenes and scripts they had and thought they were adorable," said Ridings, now 63. "I thought it was special."

He says people were surprised by how popular the show became

Ridings said he takes on a project only if he likes it. "Most things I do, I do because I believe in them," he said, "or because I like them."

He recalled that when he would talk to people about his role, they would question the future success of a show about a family of pigs. "I think everyone was taken by surprise with how popular it became," he said.

Ridings said Davies wanted to squeeze in recording the first series before Ridings traveled for work, "so they booked the studio and we recorded the whole of the first series of just Daddy Pig."

Ridings said his daughter thought the show was "great fun" when it aired. He added that at parties with his son, who was 3 at the time, people asked Ridings to "do a bit" of a Daddy Pig impersonation.

Kids recognize him out in the world

Ridings said that as the years went on, people started to recognize him as the voice of Daddy Pig and asked him to do voice messages for their children.

"I said, 'Of course,'" he said. "It's one of the most magical things about it — being able to leave little messages for 3-year-old people. It's wonderful being able to do that. It makes my life very rich to be part of something that is so universally loved."

He said that early on in the show's history, he was out shopping for fruit with his daughter at the supermarket when a young admirer started tugging at her mother's dress, saying, "Mummy, Mummy, I can hear Daddy Pig." He said that instead of introducing himself as Daddy Pig, he said to the child, "Well, I am very good friends with Daddy Pig, and if you close your eyes, he will come and say hello to you."

"If someone recognizes my voice and asks if I can take a video of me, I tell them no but say I can do a voice recording," he said. "It's one of the main reasons I haven't done many TV interviews as Daddy Pig — I don't want to destroy the magic for children."

He identifies with Daddy Pig

Ridings said that in all these years of recording, he could identify with certain qualities of Daddy Pig. "I believe in warm family life and being really encouraging to your children," he said.

He said that his daughter is a successful singer-songwriter and that his younger son is thinking of becoming an actor. Ridings said that if he ever has grandchildren, he plans on sitting down to watch "Peppa Pig" with them.

"I think the two most important things about Daddy Pig is first that he can have a laugh at himself and get everyone else laughing," he said. "Secondly — and I think this is really quite important in our culture — is this whole idea of have a go and fail fast, as opposed to having to get it right the first time."

He said he's always considered himself a storyteller — hence his gratitude for getting to be "at the epicenter of what is one of the most successful stories in the world."

After almost 18 years of recording nearly 370 episodes of the beloved show, will Ridings retire from voicing Daddy Pig?

"I will keep going until I lose my voice," he said with a laugh, adding that he has never gotten bored of being Daddy Pig.

He continued: "Why wouldn't I? It's such a gorgeous thing to be part of. The scripts are superb. I'm a lucky man."

Read the original article on Insider

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