Three to wiggle for last time

The Wiggles are touring New Zealand for the last time with the current line-up.
The Wiggles are touring New Zealand for the last time with the current line-up.

The last show of their final tour is going to be a sad, sad day, according to blue skivvy-wearing Wiggle Anthony Field.

As a founding member of the group which began in 1991, Field will be the only original left singing Hot Potato at the end of this year's farewell tour.

Greg Page, Murray Cook and Jeff Fatt are all set to pass on their colourful attire to a new generation of pre-school entertainers, and Field said he was extremely nostalgic about it.

"The last show's going to be absolutely horrible," he said.

"At the end of every show those three are left on stage to say their final farewell to everyone. It's extremely sad because they know they won't be going through that city again as a Wiggle."

As the only remaining member, Field said there was no way he had been tempted to hang up his blue skivvy along with the others. "I still love it. I feel really fit and get such enjoyment out of doing the show. I didn't even think about it, it's not the right time for me."

He said the new chapter of The Wiggles would be like starting all over again, with the fresh faces bringing a whole heap of enthusiasm.

"The excitement in the other three is something good because we've been going so long us old, jaded Wiggles. As you go on you get a bit used to everything, so I think there will be a renewed energy in there - that's what I'm looking forward to."

Simon Pryce, Lachlan Gillespie and first-ever female Wiggle Emma Watkins are the three who will slip into the group.

"The people we have coming in are very talented. It's going to be really interesting seeing their personalities come out," he said.

And Field wasn't concerned about having a bit of oestrogen in the Wiggles.

"Emma is such an amazing woman. She's one of those over achievers. She's an actor, a dancer and a rally car driver.

"She's a real ball of energy and you don't mess with her. Even though she wears a skirt, she sure wears the pants," he said.

Obviously, the dynamic would be different, said Field, but he assured us the new foursome would not be boring in the slightest. "We're still going to be a bunch of 'crazies'."

While the job requires him to appear on top of the world, all the time, Field said it's not a hard feat to achieve.

"No matter how bad you're feeling physically, or if you've had a bad day in the adult world, you go out to do a show and see kids having a great time.

"You can't have a bad time unless you've got something seriously wrong with you."

The father of three said while kids in the audience tended to be similar throughout different countries, it was the adults who proved to be the point of difference.

"American audiences are the number one most excited audience by far." Field said if you put everybody on a scale, Canada would follow the United States as the most excited, followed by England, Asia, Australia and finally New Zealand, who he said were the most laid back of the lot. "Sometimes you do think 'oh they're not getting into it', but that's just them. They're still enjoying it, they're just calm about it - it's cool."

With three out of the four Wiggles having Early Childhood degrees from Macquarie University in Sydney, Field said that had been a huge help in the success of the Wiggles. "We do think about what the world's all about, what the kids are discovering, and what are they learning. We do think about what's in it for the children. Some of the songs are just for a laugh, but some of them are there to encourage kids to eat well, drink well, or run around. There's a lot of thought behind it."

Field said all the kids' favourite songs and characters would be on show during the three- show Celebration Tour in New Plymouth on September 12.

"We do mix it up a bit but you still have to play Hot Potato, Fruit Salad and Toot, Toot, Chugga, Chugga. The kids go crazy, it's great."

Taranaki Daily News