Happy as a pig left alone

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE BOX - / CLARE RIGDEN

Bri­tish ac­tor Richard Rid­ings stars in one of the world’s most pop­u­lar tele­vi­sion se­ries but in real life, the only peo­ple who ever recog­nise the man who plays Daddy Pig in Peppa Pig are those un­der the age of five, or the oc­ca­sional call cen­tre worker.

“I was in the su­per­mar­ket, and out of the cor­ner of my eye, I saw this lovely lit­tle girl tug­ging on her mummy’s dress, say­ing, ‘Mummy, Mummy!” the ac­tor ex­plains. “About a minute later, the mum said, ‘I don’t mean to be rude, but my daugh­ter seems to think you might be Daddy Pig!’ so I had to con­fess.”

Rid­ings ad­mits he does not like to do TV in­ter­views or ap­pear­ances for fear of ru­in­ing the fun for his small fans.

“[My pub­li­cist] keeps ask­ing me if I will do a TV in­ter­view for ABC, but I don’t like to do vis­ual in­ter­views be­cause I like to keep the magic alive. No one wants to see a hairy 50-year-old man, they want to see Daddy Pig!” he tells Switched On.

Peppa Pig is big busi­ness, with show trans­lated into over 40 lan­guages, and air­ing in 170 coun­tries world­wide.

In 2015 the brand was es­ti­mated to be worth close to $1.7 bil­lion, with cre­ators Mark Baker, Neville Ast­ley and Phil Davies earn­ing $79 mil­lion each when they sold a 70 per cent share of the busi­ness that same year.

Al­though he hasn’t yet been ap­proached, Rid­ings says he is sure there are more se­ries in the works, de­spite the fact it’s been a year since he recorded the last one.

WATCH PEPPA PIG’S NEW SE­RIES, ABC KIDS, DAILY, 5.40PM

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