New Wiggles want peace with Sam

ROSS PURDIE
Last updated 15:50 22/02/2013
New Wiggles
Tamara Dean/FAIRFAX

NEW LOOK: Anthony Field, left, with Wiggles new faces Lachy Gillespie, Emma Watkins and Simon Pryce.

 Sam Moran
BOUNCING BACK: Sam Moran

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The new-look Wiggles have offered an olive branch to ousted member Sam Moran saying they hope his new children's show is a roaring success.

Moran, who was controversially sacked by The Wiggles last year, is set to make his TV return on May 6 in the brand new Nick Jr series Play Along With Sam.

"We're all really happy for Sam to get out there and do it," founding Wiggle Anthony Field said.

"A lot of rubbish was written about how Sam left and 95 per cent of it wasn't true. I hope the show is a real barnstorming success."

The Wiggles - now including Lachlan Gillespie, Simon Pryce and Emma Watkins - will tour in March with the aim of attracting a new generation of fans.

With the three new members already being recognised, Field played down the competition from Moran's childrens series.

"The Wiggles are the Wiggles and everyone else is everyone else," said Field.

"Kids will choose who they like be it Sam, The Wiggles or Playschool. It's not like football teams."

Field denies claims that Moran was unfairly treated when the group replaced him with original yellow Wiggle Greg Page last January.

With Page and fellow founders Murray Cook and Jeff Fatt since departing, Field claims he was targeted as the villain.

"People forget in the past two years we lost millions of dollars so we did what any business should do and that's survive," he said.

"Sam wanted a certain amount and we didn't have enough funds to do that."

According to Field, the situation was dealt with by The Wiggles manager Paul Field and Moran's lawyer, with the rest of the group kept out of negotiations to avoid jeopardising their working relationship - contrasting reports Moran was sacked by his bandmates on his daughter's birthday.

While Watkins, who became the first female Wiggle after being promoted as an understudy, is still in touch with Moran, Field says he will only make contact when the sacked Wiggle speaks out to deny reports he was mistreated.

"I really do wish him well but I'm disappointed he hasn't come out and said I had a great time and those stories weren't true," Field said.

"Until that happens I'll just stay away because I don't want to be caught out again."

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