Emma Watkins has explained why she’s quitting The Wiggles in an emotional video, even triggering a response from the Prime Minister.
Beloved Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins has explained why she’s quitting the popular children’s group, saying eight months of touring a year was causing her to “miss out”.
In an emotional video posted to social media on Tuesday morning, Watkins spoke about her 11-year stint with The Wiggles and said the Covid-19 pandemic had caused her to reflect on “what is important in life”.
“For me, that means spending more time at home, something that I didn’t realise I was missing out on being away eight months of the year on tour, but something that I have really cherished over the last 18 months,” she told her fans.
“I am also really looking forward to devoting more time and energy on completing my PhD that incorporates my ongoing passion for sign language, dance and film editing and to having more time to work with the deaf community.”
Watkins said she was “eternally grateful” to The Wiggles for giving her the opportunity to be the first female Wiggle.
“A role that I have loved and one that has brought me so much joy and an abundance of ‘bowtiful’ memories that I will treasure forever,” she said.
“As The Wiggles continue to evolve and someone new now steps into the yellow skivvy, I look forward to seeing children and families embrace them, just as I was when I began.
“I wish The Wiggles much continued success as they continue to delight children all over the world.”
Scott Morrison was quick to thank Watkins, leading hundreds of comments on her Facebook page.
“Thank you Emma. You have brought joy to so many young lives, delighting and entertaining children in Australia and around the world. Wishing you all the best for your new adventures,” the Prime Minister wrote.
Jessica Mary commented with a picture of her daughter dressed in a yellow skivvy, saying she “absolutely adores you”.
“You have been such a huge part of our lives, we are absolutely Emma obsessed! We have seen you perform live so many times now and it’s memories that our daughter will always have. I grew up with the OG wiggles and it makes me so happy to see her growing up with her own,” she wrote.
“Thank you Emma for everything you have done, my daughter Olivia is going to miss you dearly. She absolutely loves what you do and loves dancing singing and never goes a day without wearing a bow in her hair,” Kathy Whisner also wrote on Facebook.
Watkins will finish at the end of the year, with The Wiggles naming 16-year-old Tsehay Hawkins as her replacement.
The group’s Australian arena tour will take place in February 2022.