In her first interview since leaving The Wiggles, Emma Watkins has opened up about her experience in the iconic children’s band and what it was like being the first woman to feature in the previously all-male line-up.
The Yellow Wiggle, who announced back in October that she was leaving the group to focus on her other passions, replaced founding member Greg Page in 2012.
Speaking with Stellar magazine, Emma reflected on what it was like making history when she joined The Wiggles a decade ago.
“It was a beautiful time. However, it wasn’t without its challenges,” she admitted.
“It took about two or three years to actually have people accept that there was a female among the group; that was a massive deal back then. It wasn’t really liked.”
Emma went on to say that fans were “very territorial” about the original Wiggles, which she could understand as she also grew up with the band.
“So to then see how that changed over the decade, and children coming to the show dressed in beautiful Emma costumes, or wearing bows… It’s powerful,” she added.
The 32-year-old also revealed that it was her time away from the band in 2018 when she had surgery for her endometriosis that helped her make the decision to leave the group permanently last year.
“I had two beautiful performers replace me on tour for a period of weeks,” she said.
“I felt terrible and kept thinking, how are we going to do this? But the children still came to the shows, because they love the music… Everyone was OK after that.”
Emma’s candid interview comes shortly after she shared a touching post on social media at the end of 2021 opening up about her departure.
“I’ll certainly miss driving the Big Red Car with Anthony, Lachy and Simon singing along with me,” she wrote in the caption alongside a snap of the band performing to a large crowd of people.
“Waving to everyone as we would drive by is one of my favourite memories. Lachy used to have the music in a headphone (in-ears) and he would tap on my shoulder to keep me in time.”
16-year-old Tsehay Hawkins has since stepped in as the new Yellow Wiggle and will be hitting the road with fellow band members Anthony, Lachy and Simon next month for their brand new arena tour, Fruit Salad TV Big Show.
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