ABC has announced the current 11th season of ever-popular Giggle & Hoot will be its last, wrapping on air in 2020.
The show was first broadcast on ABC on in June 2009 and has spawned a raft of favourite kids’ characters: Hootabelle, Giggle Fangs, Hoot Pa, Pirate Hootbeard and Hootagadget.
Libbie Doherty, Head of ABC Children’s, said: “Giggle and Hoot has had a remarkable production run over more than a decade, capturing the hearts and minds of generations of pre-schoolers and their families. After celebrating the show’s 10th birthday, Jimmy spoke with us and we both agreed the time was right to opt out while we were still on top.
“The ABC is continually evolving its outstanding content for younger viewers, particularly on our digital services. Thank you to the incredible cast and crew who worked on the show over the years for their hootastic songs, games and adventures. And I would especially like to thank Jimmy, who is one of the hardest working TV Presenters – the passion and professionalism he brings to set every day is second to none. His contribution to sparking the curiosity and imagination of Australia’s children will be treasured by his fans. Happily, Giggle and Hoot remains central to the ABC KIDS’ family and will be shown on screen and online for a long time to come.”
Jimmy Rees said: “I’ve loved every day as Jimmy Giggle. I’ve worked with some of the very best people at the ABC and it’s been a complete joy to laugh and sing along with Aussie pre-schoolers across the country. After 10 years I decided that it was time to take on the next exciting challenge in my career, while also being able to dedicate more time to performing as Jimmy Giggle live in concert, a part of the job that I love so much.
“We’ve been working super hard these past few months to produce loads of content for everyone to watch and I will see all of my owl pals out on the road. Hoot! Hoot!”
Jimmy Rees has been with the show since its launch in 2009, leaving a retail sales job at age 22 to start his television career. He has since had three children, appeared on Dancing with the Stars and regularly performed around the country.
“Performing on Dancing With The Stars was pretty incredible and I have since tried my hand at FM radio, which has been great. I am feeling really great about 2020 – bring it on!” he said.
Hoot the Owl is played by puppeteer Damien Carey, who is also the voice for Giggle Fangs. His predecessor was David Simes, who played Hoot from the program’s inception until late 2018, when he left to star in the stage show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Giggle and Hoot will remain on the ABC KIDS’ channel, app and iview throughout next year and beyond.