14 Surprising Facts About Peppa Pig
From a nugget of an idea to a $1 billion empire, it's been 15 years since Peppa Pig was first brought to life. Here are some facts to celebrate.
1. Peppa was created by three out-of-work friends.
The idea for Peppa Pig came to Neville Astley and Mark Baker in 2000. The pair were animators, but without work. Or money. So they enlisted the help of producer Phil Davies, and the three had to borrow money from friends and family to make Peppa happen, given how short on funds they were.
2. For the BBC, Peppa Pig is the one that got away.
The trio founded Astley Baker Davies and were originally working on a different show for the BBC. But when scheduling issues arose, they instead took Peppa Pig to Channel 5 in the UK, and Nick Jr. in the U.S.
3. It was an instant hit.
Some shows take their time to find their feet, but not Peppa Pig. Instead, 12 months after its first episode aired in May 2004, the show had won a BAFTA and earned more than $1.5 million in merchandise sales.
4. Peppa has been voiced by three different people.
Since Peppa Pig first debuted in 2004, three people have voiced the title character. Child voice-actors Lily Snowden-Fine (season 1), Cecily Bloom (season 2), and Harley Bird (beginning in season 3) have all contributed to the show. In 2011, when she was just nine years old, Bird won a BAFTA for the role, making her the youngest performer ever to earn the honor.
5. Early scenes of the show have been re-edited.
George Lucas isn't the only filmmaker who tinkers with his work once it's released. In seasons 1 and 2 of Peppa Pig, when the family went on a drive, they weren't originally wearing seatbelts. This led to complaints from concerned parents, and so the relevant episodes have since been re-edited. Fresh edits have also taken place to add helmets to scenes where characters go bicycling.
6. Peppa has gone global.
Though Peppa began her adventures in the UK, she is now a big deal worldwide. Peppa Pig is seen in more than 200 countries worldwide and is believed to be worth over $1 billion in sales worldwide, a number that is expected to double by 2020.
7. Peppa is not into politics.
During the UK's 2010 general election, Britain's Labour Party invited the "megastar of children's television" to attend an event announcing family policies, but Peppa passed on the opportunity in order to appear politically neutral (or, more accurately, so that the show's distributor could avoid any controversy). Still, that didn't stop some members of the public from making assumptions about the 5-year-old pig's political leanings. (Specifically: that "she is unquestionably from a long line of well-bred, well-fed Conservatives.")
8. One episode of Peppa Pig was banned in Australia.
The episode "Mister Skinnylegs" features the perennially useless Daddy Pig talking about how spiders can't really hurt you. This is contrary to advice in Australia, however, where fear of deaths from spider bites mean children aren't exactly encouraged to make chums with the eight-legged arachnids. ABC in Australia thus deemed the episode "unsuitable for broadcast."
9. Miss Rabbit does so many jobs, she received an award from the Queen.
One of the running jokes in Peppa Pig is the range of jobs Miss Rabbit takes on. Nurse, fire fighter, helicopter pilot, librarian, bus driver … you name it. In season 4 of the show—and the subsequent book tie-in—Miss Rabbit wins the Queen's award for industry. The downside? A national holiday had to be declared so she actually had the time to collect her prize. The episode and book were created in order to get children to participate in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, and Queen Elizabeth herself is said to be a fan of the series, which she watches with her grandchildren.
10. There are two Peppa Pig theme parks.
Peppa Pig World is a theme park within a theme park. It's found at Paultons Family Theme Park in Hampshire, England and features seven kiddie rides with all of the popular characters. In 2018, a second park—Peppa Pig Land—opened at Italy's Gardaland Resort.
11. A woman named Gabriella Capra is decidedly not a fan.
Speaking of Italy: In Italian, the word capra means "goat." In 2014, a 40-year-old Italian woman by the name of Gabriella Capra decided she couldn't handle the ribbing from her friends and coworkers based on the similarities between her name and Peppa Pig's friend, Gabriella Goat, and sued Peppa's creators for roughly $125,000
12. A film was released in British cinemas, but not a proper one.
In February 2015, what looked like the first Peppa Pig movie, The Golden Boots, was released in UK cinemas. However, it wasn't a full-length feature. The release included a new 15-minute Peppa adventure and five favorite existing episodes, and it grossed just over $1 million.
13. Peppa has been hacked.
Parents were outraged when hackers targeted the Facebook page of Peppa Pig World back in 2013, posting messages like "go to hell." The page was flooded with spam pictures and messages and eventually had to be taken down.
14. Peppa has appeared on British stamps.
In 2014, Peppa got the ultimate seal of approval when the British Royal Mail announced that some of the public's favorite children's TV characters would appear on official UK postage stamps. So, sitting alongside Bob The Builder and Paddington Bear, there was Peppa herself, jumping in one of her trademark muddy puddles.