Belfast Telegraph

Peppa's adventure oinks up 10 years on screen

By Claire Williamson

She's the little pink pig who has taken over the world.

Small faces all over the globe light up when they hear the Peppa Pig theme tune and familiar 'snort snort'.

And Northern Ireland households with children are no stranger to the lovable but slightly bossy Astley Baker Davies creation.

Now Peppa Pig is celebrating a big birthday this weekend – the show's 10-year anniversary.

For anyone who hasn't encountered, enjoyed or perhaps endured Peppa Pig – she is four years old and lives with Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and her little brother George.

She loves jumping in muddy puddles and making loud snorting noises.

The programme may only last for five minutes but it has children glued to their televisions.

Then, of course, there's the lucrative merchandise available with Peppa Pig books, DVDs, a theme park and a stage tour.

But what is it that children love so much about it?

Deborah Sloan (40) from Belfast has four girls aged three to 10 and says there is no sign of her children getting bored of it as they own 17 DVDs.

"It's harmless. I wouldn't describe it as an educational-type programme but they pick up bits and pieces from it," she said.

Roisin McMackin (40) from outside Omagh said: "I have four girls who adore Peppa Pig. Two of my girls have autism. There are no barriers with Peppa Pig."

Macu Higueras (43) from Spain who lives in Belfast says her daughter Sofia (6) is "mad" about it.

"She used to watch it in Spain and then when we moved here she was shocked when Peppa Pig was speaking English."

Cookstown's Jim Eastwood, from The Apprentice, with wife Paula, says his family have been infiltrated by the marketing of Peppa Pig.

"I know Peppa Pig, my kids at two-and-a-half and one-and-a-half know Peppa Pig, but, interestingly, we never watch it.

"I don't know about what Peppa Pig gets up to on a day-to-day basis but we have Peppa Pig slippers, schoolbag, coat and other merchandise that I don't know how we have ended up with.

"The marketing and merchandise has taken hold of us even before my kids are old enough to actually appreciate the Peppa Pig show."

Citybeat breakfast presenter Stephen Clements said Peppa was "massive" in his house.

"I think it's the colours and sense of humour of the programme that Poppy loves.

"Certainly Poppy loves how daddy pig is a bit silly and the term 'silly daddy' is staple in our house now."

The show's animation studio is currently in production of an anniversary special scheduled to premiere from November.

10 ways piglet conquered the globe

1. In December Peppa Pig made a guest appearance with the Lord Mayor in Belfast to turn on the Christmas lights in the city centre.

2. Peppa Pig has gone live with a stage show touring more than 60 venues in the UK. Peppa Pig's Big Splash arrived at Belfast's Grand Opera House earlier this month. It was an all-singing, all-dancing adventure full of songs, games and muddy puddles.

3. The popular little pig also has her own theme park. Peppa Pig World is part of Paultons Family Theme Park in New Forest, Hampshire. Fans can enjoy seven fun theme park rides.

4. The audience reaches across 180 territories, translated into 40 languages.

5. Peppa Pig first aired in the UK on May 31 2004. The first episode was broadcast on Channel 5 and was called Muddy Puddles. It has had 209 episodes all made by London animation studio Astley Baker Davies.

6. The Queen became the first human character to take part when she made a guest appearance in 2012 in honour of the Diamond Jubilee. The monarch (not voiced by the real Queen) was seen wearing wellies and splashing in muddy puddles to interest children in the festivities. Peppa's little brother George Tweeted his delight after Prince George's name was announced.

7. The Peppa Pig brand generates £338m in retail sales worldwide each year. More than 6.5 million pairs of Peppa Pig shoes have been sold in Britain – enough for each child up to the age of 10.

8. More than 15 millions Peppa Pig toys have been sold worldwide.

9. Miss Rabbit appears to be the hardest-working character in the series, holding down many jobs at the same time, including bus driver, supermarket assistant, librarian, helicopter pilot, fireman, ice cream seller, shoe shop assistant, car crusher, ticket seller and china shop worker.

10. Earlier this year Peppa Pig joined 12 popular characters to appear on Royal Mail stamps.

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