How US songwriter Parry Gripp made an overweight hedgehog from Tiggywinkles an internet sensation

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‘He’s big as a football weighs as much as a cat how did that hedgehog get so fat?’

That is the question that more than a million YouTube viewers have been asking, after seeing Californian musician Parry Gripp’s video about Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital.

Fatts the overweight hedgehog, who featured in US musician Parry Gripp's YouTube video

Fatts the overweight hedgehog, who featured in US musician Parry Gripp's YouTube video

Mr Gripp, who is popular for his catchy animal songs such as Baby Monkey Riding Backwards On A Pig and Hamster On A Piano, spotted footage of overweight Fatts the hedgehog who was being treated at Tiggywinkles in Haddenham, and knew that he had to be his next subject.

To date the video has been watched by 1,403821 people.

That was back in 2013, and since then Mr Gripp, who now writes music for Disney, has produced an EP to raise money for Tiggywinkles, and is planning to release another song this year.

He said: “I found out about Tiggywinkles through the video of the overweight hedgehog.

“The image was very funny, with a doctor, an X-ray of a hedgehog, and the caption that said “St. Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital”. I had to look it up.

“All I needed to hear was “Overweight Hedgehog” and the song wrote itself!”

He added: “Overweight Hedgehog is certainly one of my favorites. The scene of the cat watching the hedgehog eat cat food is a classic.

“I’ve never visited, but I did email them. I have a song I’ve been working on about Tiggywinkles, which I’ll release sometime this year. I contacted them about getting cute video footage from them.”

Mr Gripp also wrote the theme tune for the nineties sci-fi drama Buffy The Vampire Slayer with his band Nerfherder, but the lifechanging break came when his Hamster On A Piano video was picked up by Ricky Gervais for use in his sitcom Derek.

He said: “It’s been the most surprising thing that has ever happened to me. It’s truly bizarre.

“My life has been changed completely by the success of these weird little videos. Currently, I’m the songwriter for a Disney show called The 7D. I get to write songs and sometimes sing like a squirrel.

Mr Gripp (pictured in the Disney studio with co-stars Kelly Osbourne and Jess Harnell) added: “It’s great. I feel very lucky that I make a nice living from music.”

And Tiggywinkles founder Les Stocker, who features in the hedgehog video, is thrilled that Mr Gripp has taken such an interest in Tiggywinkles.

He added: “I can’t believe one million people have seen me on the internet!

“I think it’s brilliant that he has looked us up and it just goes to show that we have an international reputation, it’s important for the work we do.

“It’s a lovely little song, we found out about it when he donated money and our team has been in contact with him over email.

“It’s amazing that someone all the way in California is interested in us and the work we do.

“But you can beat hedgehogs for cuteness, and you definitely can’t beat a fat one, we have had to pit them on their five a day, and make sure they get some exercise.”

To find out more about Tiggywinkles click here

To find out more about Parry Gripp click here