'Men singing children's songs': The Wiggles reveal 'suspicious' reception in early years

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
The Wiggles are reuniting to help the bushfire effort, and they're dishing on their early days. Photo: The Wiggles

For almost any Aussie who grew up in the 90’s and beyond, The Wiggles formed a huge part of your TV experience growing up.

Try telling a friend who grew up overseas about the four men singing Hot Potato in colourful skivvies, however, and it becomes hard to explain the entertainment phenomenon without being met by an expression of confusion.

It turns out it’s a reaction the band has been weathering from day dot, though originally it was not only considered odd but met with far stronger reactions.

Appearing this morning on Today to discuss their upcoming bushfire relief reunion concerts, original members Yellow wiggle Greg Page, Blue Wiggle Anthony Field, Red Wiggle Murray Cook and by video Purple Wiggle Jeff Fatt, revealed they had to overcome some hurdles to become the international superstars they are today.

Explaining how the band came to be Anthony revealed that the group, who are qualified early childhood teachers and met at Macquarie University, was originally looked upon with ‘suspicion’.

“Men singing children's songs, at the time, that was looked upon suspiciously,” he told Karl and Ally.

“There’s not many of us male pre-school teachers, especially then,” Murray added.

“It’s actually good because men should be involved with bringing up children,” Anthony pointed out.

‘It’ll never work’: group turned down

Whose wiggling now? Original members Anthony, Greg and Murray on the Today couch. Photo: Nine

The group also revealed that when they first approached an agent they were told in no uncertain terms that the idea was doomed.

“She said, ‘There’s four of you, it’ll never work. There’s too many you’ll never make any money’,” Greg explained.

The cruel irony is of course, that the group went on to become a multi-million dollar venture, earning over $28 million in 2012, the year Jeff, Greg and Murray called it quits.

The group now consists of new members Emma Watkins, Lachlan Gillespie and Simon Pryce, with Anthony Field still wiggling, 30 years on.

Sold-out charity show

The Wiggles will be performing to raise money for the bushfires. Photo: Getty Images

The four original members of the Aussie children’s music group announced they would reunite for a very special, one-off show on Monday, the first time they would perform together in 14 years.

The concerts predictably sold out like hot potatoes, with all tickets snapped up in just ten minutes.

The group explained that after the shows sold out, they are now including a pay-for-view systrem so those who missed out can tune in from home, with ‘every cent’ going to the bushfire appeal.

They join other influential Aussies who have banded together to help out with the fires.

Most notably Celeste Barber has hit a whopping $45 million on her Facebook fundraiser which initially set out to raise a quarter of a million.

Athlete and motivational speaker Turia Pitt is spearheading a campaign to shop with affected businessesChris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky pledged $1 million to the relief effort and Russel Crowe has been consistently raising awareness from the ground, where he has been battling to save his NSW property and surrounding land.

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