Jimmy Giggle: 'We're trying for another baby'
Exciting times ahead!
Parenting Commentator / September 19 2018
He’s the guy who gets Aussie kids laughing. Jimmy Giggle, real name James Rees, will next year notch up 10 years on ABC’s Giggle And Hoot. Before the dad-of-one sets off on a series of live concerts, we asked him the secret to making kids laugh, and whether his own son finds him funny.
Giggle and Hoot has been running for nine years on ABC2. What's your secret?
We run bits and pieces throughout the day, so it’s that familiarity. We speak at a million miles an hour, lots happens, and it’s funny as well as being colourful and bright, with beautiful songs and catchy tunes. It’s a different take on the traditional kids’ style – it’s silly.
How important is it for kids to laugh?
It’s paramount. We’re called Giggle And Hoot for a reason – our main aim is to have fun. When you’re a kid you don’t have stresses as much, so why not enjoy every moment. Smiling and laughing is infectious, and with kids you can’t help but laugh.
What have you learnt about kids since being on Giggle and Hoot?
When I first started, I’d never been in a TV studio. I was very green, but meeting kids at live shows you learn a lot. They love to laugh, and they’re smart. They know when your timing is out and they’re spontaneous – they’ll yell out in the middle of a concert. I love that, and will happily stop the show to address what’s happening. Obviously having your own child, you learn a lot more!
Your son Lenny is three. Does he realise you're Jimmy?
When he was younger he didn’t realise. Then he recognised me and would say: ‘Dad, Dad, Dad.’ It took him a while to learn that when I go to work I’m Jimmy Giggle and when I’m home I’m Dad. Now he knows he’s being funny when he says: ‘Jimmy Giggle, do you want to come and jump on the trampoline with me?’ He likes to pretend he’s a dog. He gets down on all fours and says: ‘Call me little Pongo.’
How have you adapted to fatherhood?
Nothing can prepare you for it! It’s so much fun, but also frustrating at times when you don’t know what you’re doing. We can’t wait to have more!
My main job is being in the studio, but I run a business on the side with a friend. We do live-streaming and 360 virtual reality content – we recently made a virtual reality tour of Taronga Zoo for the Starlight Foundation, so kids in hospital could take a tour. On Mondays and Tuesdays I look after Lenny and every second week a friend and I take our kids to play golf. We take a lot of snacks!
This article originally appeared on New Idea.
I grew up in New Zealand, moved to London in my early 20s to work on British newspapers then moved to Australia when I was pregnant with my first child. I write a newspaper column, celebrity interviews and a parenting page. I also do TV and radio commentary, podcasting and host corporate events. I’ve also published a book on parenting, The Smallest Things. However, my greatest role – and the one I’m most proud of – is parenting my daughters, Eliza and Lilibelle, who are 17 and 14.