Back in 2002 I somehow managed to get a gig on two of my heroes’ new pre-school TV series Peppa Pig. Their names were (are) Neville Astley and Mark Baker, and between them they had made some of my favourite animated films (Trainspotter, The Hill Farm, Jolly Roger, The Big Knights). Despite not having any proper animation experience (I was self taught and not brimming with confidence), Mark and Nev taught me just about everything while actually paying me at the same time. What a lucky boy. When I started on the first series of Peppa Pig, no one had the faintest whiff of the massive success it would become, we just worked really hard on making it the best 52 episode series about a cartoon family we could.
I was an animator on the first series, then switched to episode designer for the second (and occasionally on more recent series). I like both animation and design, but the latter is arguably better as it’s slightly less work for slightly more money. And just so you know: No-one, absolutely no-one knows what makes a hit TV show. If you meet anyone who claims they do, they are mistaken. Or mad, or both.
Below are just some of the scenes, characters and props I animated / designed / messed with. There are a whole lot more but these are some of my favourites:
All images are © Astley Baker Davies Ltd / Entertainment One UK Ltd and are used with permission.