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The Wiggles shake things up; mess with our memories

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Ch-ch-ch-changes. Three of the original members of the Wiggles have decided that it’ll soon be time to hand over their colorful skivvies. Jeff Fatt (Purple Wiggle), Greg Page (Yellow Wiggle), and Murray Cook (Red Wiggle) will do one more tour before three replacements  join Anthony Field (Blue Wiggle) next year.

We’ve been entertaining children around the world for 21 years now and it has been a fantastic ride in our Big Red Car,” the wildly successful Australian band said in a statement on their site. The demands of touring and performing have taken their toll and the three departing members want to spend more time with their families, according to the letter they wrote. Page had just returned to the group earlier this year, after retiring in 2006 and being replaced by Sam Moran.

After the Celebration Tour — which kicks off in Singapore at the end of May and hits the U.K., U.S., Canada, and New Zealand — Emma Watkins, Lachlan Gillespie, and Simon Pryce will take over as the new Yellow, Purple, and Red Wiggles. They’ve all played various characters in the show for years. Fatt, Page, and Cook will take on behind-the-scenes roles.

The music group, whose childhood development beliefs were folded into its music and shows, has sold more than 23 million DVDs and 7 million CDs worldwide, and its TV shows are broadcast in more than 100 countries, according to The Wiggles’ website. The group has done more than 4,000 shows.

As parents, we connect so much with the things our young children love that even if you went kicking and screaming into it, you sort of end up owning it too, long past when your kids have moved on. I can still remember when Donovan Patton replaced Steve Burns on Blues Clues. Sure, my kids were no longer watching but since I’d spent so many hours with Steve when they were watching, that it felt like the end of an era for me. Sure, the Wiggles machine will march on, but with such a big change to the lineup, will it be the same for you when there are new Purple, Yellow, and Red Wiggles getting the next generation to sing “fruit salad, yummy yummy”?

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