If you have kids, you probably know Jimmy Giggle.
But you may not know that he wanted to be a stuntman when he was a kid, or that he didn’t specifically audition for Giggle and Hoot.
Jimmy Rees – or Jimmy Giggle as he is widely known – has been entertaining children for the past nine years as the star of Giggle and Hoot, the popular ABC Kids program.
Jimmy, Hootabelle and their friends are also about to take the television show to the stage for the first time in two years.
The gig is such a hoot that sometimes it’s hard to sometimes it’s hard for Jimmy to believe he gets paid to do it.
“The television show is too much fun really – you really have to pinch yourself that it’s actually a job,” he said.
“And it’s great to get out and do the live shows and meet the people who are watching.”
Jimmy had an interest in entertainment and television from a young age, although initially he wanted to work dangerously behind the scenes.
“I went through this phase where I wanted to be a stuntman, like drive a stunt motorbike,” he said.
“It was just an idea and I thought that I could do that but I’m not a risk taker. It was bizarre.”
Jimmy watched a lot of comedy television as a young child and his father, an Englishman with real ‘British humour’, loved Monty Python and was always joking around and playing the guitar.
Jimmy, who grew up in Victoria, became interested in theatre during high school after watching his brother on stage.
He studied media arts at university but never finished the course.
When ABC3 was being launched in 2009, Jimmy did an open audition for the channel.
He didn’t quite make it through, but the casting director handed his footage to the team starting up Giggle and Hoot.
The rest, of course, is history.
Jimmy Giggle is now a household name and has a huge following of mums, which came as a bit of a surprise particularly when the children’s entertainer stumbled across a Facebook page called ‘I could teach Jimmy Giggle a thing or two’.
“It’s all just tongue in cheek,” he said with a laugh.
“I don’t know, I thought sideburns went out in the 1970s!”
Jimmy’s son Lenny, 3, is also a fan of the show and often asks Jimmy Giggle for things if dad says no.
Given the program’s popularity, tickets to the live shows are expected to sell out fast.
Down in Victoria doing PR for Giggle and Hoot’s Hootastic Concert!! Drove from the airport to Bendigo then to Geelong – through Castlemaine / Daylesford…. such a great state… Those country towns are beautiful!! People are great…. Had an awesome day!! Tomorrow morning at Nova 100 and Fox FM!! Will be another good day!!! Someone mentioned this to me today: that my job was all about bringing joy to people and that when I meet people it’s always a fun time, it’s never negative or mean spirited. I never really thought about that but I do have a pretty cool job…. the live shows are the best part…. seeing the families who watch the show …. getting around the country…. all singing and dancing along…. reminds us of why we do it!! BTW, The TV studio is quite the opposite with 20 adults doing their serious jobs really well capturing a bunch of owls and a man in his PJs …. 😂😂😂😂!! Anyway 4am start today, early tomorrow, ima going to bed!! …. 🛏 😎Live Nation Family Australia & New Zealandhttps://lvna.co/GiggleandHoot
Posted by Jimmy Rees on Monday, August 27, 2018
The Hootastic Live Concert features the gang’s popular songs including The Gigglemobile, Go Giggleosaurus, Birdbath Boogie, The Giggle Galaxy and Hoot’s Lullaby.
“The show is high energy and they are really fun,” Jimmy Giggle said.
“There is a lot of audience interaction and we encourage kids to get up and scream and shout.”
Jimmy Giggle, Hootabelle and their friends will perform their Hootastic Concert at the GPAC Playhouse on Friday 5 October.
There will be two shows – one at 10am and the other at 12pm.
For tickets, click HERE