How i make it work... JIMMY REES

THE GIG­GLE AND HOOT STAR HAS BEEN CALLED THE ONE DI­REC­TION OF CHIL­DREN’S EN­TER­TAIN­ERS. HERE, HE RE­VEALS HOW HE COPES WITH THE PE­CU­LIAR PRES­SURES OF BE­ING AN UN­LIKELY SEX SYM­BOL

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Travel - Stel­lar picks tour starts De­cem­ber 10; live­na­tion.com.au.

Years ago, a Face­book page popped up called “I Could Teach Jimmy Gig­gle A Thing Or Two”. It went gang­busters re­ally quickly. My wife, Tori, and I thought it was very funny. I think any per­son in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try gets some sort of at­ten­tion, but we didn’t ex­pect it to be like that!

I do get stopped in the street and it’s usu­ally the par­ents who no­tice me. They’ll say, “Look, it’s Jimmy Gig­gle,” and their kids will go, “No it’s not. Where’s Hoot? Where are his py­ja­mas?” I have to try to con­vince them. Some­times the kids spot me: once, I was in a lift and a lit­tle girl tugged at her mother’s dress. The mum said, “I’m so sorry, she thinks you look like this guy on a TV show.” I was like, “She’s right.”

Then there are the peo­ple who come to our shop­ping-cen­tre ap­pear­ances with­out any chil­dren. It’s a bit awk­ward to ask if I’m sign­ing some­thing for them… Once at an event, an en­thu­si­as­tic mum wrote her phone num­ber on a piece of pa­per for me – but in­stead of giv­ing it to me di­rectly she gave it to my wife, who was help­ing kids off the stage. Be­ing a preschool show, I didn’t ex­pect to achieve this kind of “sex sym­bol” sta­tus. I re­ally don’t know why I’m such a hit with the mums – I didn’t know that side­burns were still in!

I think there are dif­fer­ent lay­ers to our fan base. The kids ob­vi­ously be­lieve in the won­der that is Gig­gle and Hoot; they go on th­ese ad­ven­tures and they’re en­chanted by it all. The par­ents, who un­for­tu­nately have to lis­ten to all the songs too, ap­pre­ci­ate it in a dif­fer­ent way.

I’m watch­ing a lot of kids’ TV now be­cause my son, Lenny, is 19 months old. Be­com­ing a dad has given me a bit of per­spec­tive about what chil­dren en­joy and how in­tel­li­gent they are. Kids are the hard­est au­di­ence. If you don’t en­gage them, they’ll fall asleep. Gig­gle and Hoot doesn’t speak down to chil­dren, we speak fast and they have

to keep up. The kids un­der­stand that and they pick up the catch­phrases.

I love do­ing live-ac­tion shows as you can see the ex­cite­ment on the kids’ faces. They see Jimmy Gig­gle in real life and they re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate us be­ing there. We’re re­hears­ing our Christ­mas tour now. When we get into a theatre and put on the show, it’s a truly mag­i­cal time. For kids and mums alike. Gig­gle and Hoot’s Mag­i­cal Christ­mas

Pop into your DVD player and learn from the best. Out Dec 7; don­na­hay.com.

Un­til Dec 11 in Bris­bane; bris­bane pow­er­house.org.

(Ha­chette Aus­tralia, $32.99).

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