Harley Bird, the voice actor behind popular cartoon character Peppa Pig, has stepped down after 13 years in the role. Bird, who is eighteen year old has voiced 185 episodes of the programme. Nine-year-old Amelie Bea Smith will make her debut as the title character on the show’s Valentine’s Day episode.
Smith, who had been a huge fan of the show since she was little will become the fourth British voice artist to take on the role in English-speaking territories following Bird, Lily Snowden-Fine and Cecily Bloom, who provided the voice for the character since the show first appeared on UK television screens in 2004.
Bird won a BAFTA award for the role in 2011 and has reportedly earned £1,000 an hour for her role, and also recorded songs for the Peppa Pig album, which became a viral hit after its release last July. Airing in 118 territories, the Peppa brand also garners huge sales of merchandise across the globe, notably in the US and China.