There is nothing we love more at Essential Kids than visiting our friends at Giggle and Hoot. This time when Hoot called us in for a mint slice and an ice-cold glass of milk he had an exciting new friend for us to meet – Hootabelle. Voiced and puppeted by the very talented and versatile Abi Tucker, Hootabelle loves adventures, is full of gusto and has one of the best singing voices throughout the land of Giggle and Hoot. We couldn’t wait to ask Abi a ton of questions!!
We are excited about you entering the Giggle and Hoot fold. Please tell us about your new character.
Hootabelle is Hoot’s owl pal. She is lively and cheeky. She lives in the purple button tree and lights up the stars for Hoot’s night watch flight. She also likes to sing in the owl choir and loves the colour purple.
What are you looking forward to most about working with Giggle and Hoot?
There is a great energy with Giggle and Hoot. The two of them, Jimmy Giggle (James Rees) and Hoot (Hamish Fletcher) are seriously witty. It is fantastic to bring a smile to people’s faces.
Great opportunities in life come along. I have really enjoyed every character I have played for different reasons.
Singing is a big passion for you. Will you get a chance to sing for Giggle and Hoot?
There has been a long running debate in Essential Kids over who is cuter – Jimmy Giggle or Captain Feathersword. What is your opinion?
Jimmy, he’s one of Hootabelle’s pals!
You have played some tough and uncompromising characters in the past. What prompted your decision to enter children’s television?
Great opportunities in life come along. I have really enjoyed every character I have played for different reasons. I started to pursue my interests in puppetry and then ended up auditioning in Children’s TV for Giggle and Hoot.
You and Alex Papps appear to have a great rapport on Play School. How have you enjoyed working on the show and working with Alex?
Alex is a fantastic and very talented man. We have many laughs on stage and off. We have had some hilarious times on tour as well.
If you could be any character from a kid’s TV show who would it be and why?
Maybe the role from the all-time classic family film: The Scarecrow in the ‘Wizard of Oz’. That film was one of my all-time favourites.
What are your top three boys and girls names?
It would be unfair to say my nieces and nephews names. There are eight of them and you’ve only given me six choices!
You have an amazing looking CV with TV work, film work and a recording career. What have been your greatest career highs?
I really loved working on McLeod’s Daughters. Heartbreak High was my first TV series role. The MTC/STC production of Poor Boy which was a play with songs by Tim Finn was a real high. I also loved the process of recording my first and second albums with great musicians. I feel fortunate to have played the roles I have played. The Secret Life of Us and Wildside were both highlights for me also.
Finally, I understand Playschool is shot live. As we all know, live TV does not always go to plan. What is the funniest thing to happen to you while working?
There have been some fantastically funny things which have happen on Playschool. It is hard to pinpoint one, but I have had some really good belly laughs.