Popular children’s entertainment group The Wiggles have selected the replacement for Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins, who is leaving at the end of the year. Watkins, who was the first-ever female Wiggle, departs after nine years with the group. She’ll be replaced by the youngest-ever Wiggle, 15-year-old Ethiopian Tsehay Hawkins.
“After 11 years of performing with The Wiggles, and nine of those as the Yellow Wiggle, the time has come for me to pass the yellow skivvy on,” Watkins (pictured above) said in a statement. “I am 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. I am eternally grateful to The Wiggles for giving me the amazing 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.”
“We’ve had an amazing time with Emma over this period and while we’re sad to see her go,” founding member Anthony Field said on behalf of The Wiggles. “We thank Emma for her wonderful contribution to The Wiggles and wish her all the very best as we look forward to seeing her continued success with her other interests.”
Field, who is the Blue Wiggle, continued: “As The Wiggles continue to evolve and we look towards the future, we’re very excited to be welcoming Tsehay into the yellow skivvy, and know that parents and children everywhere will embrace her infectious energy and warmth as much as everyone at The Wiggles and audiences of Fruit Salad TV already have.”
Hawkins was recently announced as one of the new Wiggles cast members for Fruit Salad TV. She is an award-winning dancer, representing Australia at the World Latin Dance Championships. Hawkins has also won 11 Australian titles and four World titles in Latin and Commercial Dance. She is the current Australian and World Youth Ladies Salsa and Urban Latin Champion, and the current World Amateur Ladies Salsa and Urban Latin Champion.
“I am honoured to be joining The Wiggles at such an exciting time for the group. I grew up watching The Wiggles and I’ve already loved working with Anthony, Emma, Simon, Lachy, Evie, Kelly, John and all the Wiggly characters filming their latest TV series Fruit Salad TV,” Hawkins said on Wednesday. “I’m now incredibly excited to be joining them in the yellow skivvy and to have the chance to go out on the road in the new arena tour, I can’t wait to meet all the Wiggly fans. Dancing has always been my passion, and I look forward to being able to share the joy of song and dance with children all over the world!”
The Wiggles are now made up of Hawkins, Field, Lachy Gillespie and Simon Pryce. They’ll return to touring North America in 2022.