About an hour’s drive out of London, among tall hedges and rolling green fields, lives Harley Bird.
You have probably never seen the 15-year-old’s face, but the actress can put on a voice that’s famous the world over.
She is Peppa Pig.
For parents, the porcine creation needs no introduction, but for the uninitiated, Peppa is a sassy anthropomorphised pig and star of an animated children’s show that has taken the world by storm.
“I just have to go a bit higher and I need to sound like I’ve got more energy and I need to laugh quite a bit too”, Harley explains, before putting on the famous voice, giggling and launching into one of the show’s trademark lines.
“George, if you jump in muddy puddles you must wear your boots!”
This year, Harley is celebrating 10 years of oinking.
She is the third and longest-serving voice of Peppa and never expected the show would become such a global hit.
“I started Peppa when I was five and I went for an audition and I just sounded like a four-year-old pig so I got the job,” Harley says.
“I was really, really young at the time and I couldn’t really read but I’m really good at copying things … so they just used to read the line and I used to copy it back.”
No pork for the fighting, rugby-loving Peppa
Like Peppa, Harley has a love of the outdoors and does not mind getting a bit muddy.
She took the ABC crew on a quad-bike tour through puddles and woodland on her parents’ rural property.
Harley is also a black-belt kick-boxer and fan of the All Blacks rugby team, thanks to her Kiwi dad.
Although she says she does not eat pork, we were kindly offered a bacon sandwich.
“I’ve got pigs. It would be cannibalism,” exclaims the actress.
“I can’t eat that — I’d be eating myself.”
Peppa has helped Harley become the youngest BAFTA winner ever and kick-started her acting career.
She eventually wants a lead role in an action movie.
“I’d love to star in a Marvel film,” she says.
“But Peppa’s never been about doing work. It’s always been about having fun with it and as well I got to miss loads of school, which was great.”
But over the next few years school work is a major focus.
Her final exams beckon, though she hopes to remain as “Peppa” for as long as her voice will let her.
“I’ll be that really cool grandma who pops into London to speak as a four-year-old pig and then pops out again on a motorbike,” she says.