Happy as a pig left alone
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