JIMMY Rees was pulling beers at a pub on the Mornington Peninsula when he landed the role of Jimmy Giggle on the ABC TV.
In his early 20s, Rees had done amateur theatre but he was on the lookout for a full-time gig.
He got the job over thousands of other auditionees Australia-wide.
Giggle and Hoot was first broadcast on June 29, 2009.
"I was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed; it was my first professional job," Rees said.
Rees said Giggle and Hoot had resonated with children because it was an original idea, authentically delivered and underpinned with humour.
He said the first hint of the show's popularity came during a road trip 12 months into filming.
"We went to Eastland Shopping Centre in Melbourne and we were overwhelmed," he said.
"We expected a few people to turn up but 2500 people came to see us!"
After a decade-long tenure, Rees finished filming Giggle and Hoot last year (filming often ran to 47 weeks a year).
He wanted to spend more time with his young family; his eldest child starts school next year.
"I had a 10-year job in television, which is incredible in the TV industry," Rees said.
"My life is becoming a bit more freestyle now; I've been able to scratch a few itches I've had for a while!
"I will keep doing the Giggle and Hoot live shows and I've done some work in the background on Dancing with the Stars." (Rees withdrew from the competition last year weeks before the grand finale when one of his twin sons suffered complications during a routine medical procedure.)
Jimmy Giggle and his owl pals Hoot and Hootabelle will take their live show on the road in a series of performances across the country during March and April.
Owl pals can sing, stomp and roar to all their favourite Giggle and Hoot songs, from The Gigglemobile to Go Giggleosaurus.
"Touring with Giggle and Hoot has always been my favourite part of the job," Rees said.
"Being able to connect with the audience live is such an awesome feeling!"
Rees and the team dedicated an extraordinary number of hours to filming Giggle and Hoot last year so the program can remain on the ABC KIDS' channel, app and iView this year and beyond, continuing to make pre-schoolers smile and laugh.
For tour and ticket information, visit: livenation.com.au.