Voice of Peppa Pig stepping down after 13 years in the role

The Bafta-winning actress who voices the hit global TV cartoon character Peppa Pig is stepping down after 13 years in the role.

Harley Bird has voiced Peppa since she was 5-years-old but now says she's looking forward "to starting a new chapter".

Fans of the cartoon need not worry, however, as Peppa Pig will be staying on our screens with the new voice of Amelie Bea Smith.

  • Harley Bird has been the voice of Peppa, a "loveable but slightly bossy little pig," for 13 years:

The popular cartoon first aired in 2004 on Channel 5 Milkshake and Nick Jr. It is now available in more than 180 territories and is broadcast in more than 40 languages.

Harley said: "Becoming the voice of Peppa Pig at the age of five was the start of an incredible journey, and I'll never forget my time on the show.

"The people that work on Peppa Pig have become like a family to me and they've given me some unforgettable memories.

"I wish Amelie the best of luck in the role and am looking forward to starting the next chapter in my life."

Now 18 and in her final years of A-Levels, Harley took over the role in 2007 in the cartoon's third series.

She has appeared in 185 episodes, winning a Bafta for her performance in 2011.

As well as voicing episodes, she also performed songs for the recent Peppa Pig My First Album release.

Harley Bird poses with her character at at a screening of Peppa Pig: The Golden Boots in 2015. Credit: PA

Peppa Pig co-creators Neville Astley and Mark Baker, from animation studio Astley Baker Davies, said Bird had had been "tremendous" in the role:

"As our longest-standing Peppa, Harley's award-winning contribution to the show over the past 13 years has been tremendous, making her a key part of the success of Peppa Pig."

As for Amelie, her agent Mark Jermin said it was "a dream come true" for the nine-year-old, adding she has been "a huge fan of the show since she was little".

Amelie, who appeared in several episodes of EastEnders in 2018 and 2019, will first appear in the Peppa Pig episode on Valentine's Day.