First published on 31 Jul 2013. Updated on 31 Jul 2013.
Why did you audition and how did you get the job?
I wanted to be on television but I didn’t know how to get in. I was waiting tables when I did an audition for ABC3. I sent a video of myself and it was very silly. I didn’t know anything about Giggle and Hoot. They didn’t really have a name for the show yet, they didn’t know what the owl would look like, then Hoot came out of nowhere and I got cast. It was all a bit of a whirlwind.'
What’s it like living in a cardboard world?
A recycled world?
It’s fun! It’s a funny old world, the old cardboard world. Built everything with my bare hands. The cardboard isn’t so good in the rain. It’s silly to build a house out of cardboard. But it’s OK if you have cardboard rain and cardboard clouds. It’s very good living in the land of Giggle and Hoot. All our friends are there… all our friends from Sesame Street and Bananas and Pajamas. They all come over and visit. It’s lots of fun. It is called Giggle and Hoot after all.
Do you find Hoot at all irritating?
Define 'irritating' [laughs]. No, as you know, he’s very funny in his own little way. He likes to play tricks. He’s a bit lazy sometimes. He’s always playing pranks on me. He’s not irritating. He’s lots of fun. Although, there is one irritating thing about him – he’s always asleep! That’s a bit irritating. When you want to get something done, he’s asleep!
That’s like me.
Really! Maybe that’s like all of us. We all like to ignore the alarm clock.
Why are you always wearing your pyjamas in the show?
Why wouldn’t you wear your pajamas? They are so comfy.
What were your favourite TV programmes as a kid?
I grew up watching Sesame Street. Loved it. I used to watch this show called Bananaman. He was just this normal kid. But he became some sort of superhero when he ate a banana. Then he’d save the world. One day there was Apple Cinnamon Toast Man and he was the evil guy. How do I even remember that?
That reminds me of a show I once watched called Vegetable Pirates.
Oh man, I want to watch that right now. Can we cancel this interview so we can watch Vegetable Pirates?
Um, no. What is your real name?
My real name is James David Rees. But I get called Jimmy a lot these days. Mum can’t handle it.
Who has more fans – you or Hoot?
If the Giggle Gallery is anything to go by – all the pictures we get sent in from the kids – then definitely Hoot! I rejoice when there is a picture just of Jimmy Giggle, and I make sure that one gets on the show. “Look it’s a picture of me and you’re not in it Hoot!”
Do your friends tease you for working on kids’ TV?
[Laughs] They used to! Until they thought, hang on, he’s got a pretty cool job. They’d say, "Hey you’re in your pajamas on national television, ha, ha, ha!” But the joke’s on them now. No, seriously. It’s really good fun. I get to travel around the country doing live shows and meeting lots of people.
Does your mum approve of your career?
My parents are always telling me they are very proud. I just think, yeah, well, it doesn’t really feel like a proper job. I just have a chinwag with an owl, fall over a lot and hang out in my pajamas. A career? What? What do you mean?
Giggle and Hoot airs 8am, 1.30pm & 6pm Mon-Fri on ABC4.