The Wiggles unplugged: Inside the tangled love lives of iconic children’s entertainers

News of Yellow wiggle Emma Watkins’ engagement is the latest headline-making development for the iconic Australian children’s group, who have earned quite the reputation for relationships within their ranks.

Personal breakups often spell the end for music groups – look at ABBA – but The Wiggles seem remarkably harmonious for a group whose ranks now include a divorced couple and one party’s new fiance.

And that’s before we even get to the Wiggle who married Dorothy the Dinosaur …

Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins, who has been a core member of the group since 2012, yesterday announced she is engaged to Wiggles bandmate Oliver Brian.

The engagement comes three years after her split from Purple Wiggle and ex-husband Lachlan Gillespie.

Watkins, 31, confirmed the news on Instagram, showing off her engagement ring and revealing that Brian, who plays banjo in The Wiggles band, had popped the question.

Watkins first confirmed her romance with Brian in December 2019, telling Stellar magazine: “Yes, I’m in love and I feel very excited to tell you.”

Watkins revealed that she and her new beau had worked together for four years before he asked her to dinner, describing him as her “opposite”.

“He’s a very calm and thoughtful person and I’ve always been interested in his mind and his take on life, and his morals.”

The relationship with her group’s banjo player came after a very public break-up for Emma.

Having worked with The Wiggles since 2009, Lachlan “Lachy” Gillespie became the new Purple Wiggle in 2012, the same year Emma was promoted to core member.

Soon, these two new youngest members of the group – enlisted to keep The Wiggles fresh and relevant to a new generation of fans – were falling for each other. They wed in Bowral in 2016: a true Wiggles fairytale.

But just two years later, the pair announced they were splitting up.

“We have, and continue to share, the most beautiful life together, but we wanted to let you know that privately for the last six months we have been navigating through a trial separation, and we have made the decision to separate as a couple,” they said in a 2018 joint statement.

“Throughout that period, we have performed hundreds of shows together and that is always a continued source of joy for us both. We have embraced this as a very positive change in our relationship,” they continued, insisting that while they have “chosen a different path to travel in our personal lives”, their “incredible friendship” would remain.

And it has: they even self-isolated together along with the rest of the group during last year’s coronavirus lockdown, in order to continue making new music.

“Around the world, we have parents asking, ‘Please make more content!’ and it makes you think we’re responsible for providing entertainment at the moment so we’ll just keep going,” Watkins told the Australian Women’s Weekly at the time.

Lachy moves on with ballet dancer

A few months after he and Emma publicly announced their split, Lachy appeared alongside ballet dancer Dana Stephensen, who filmed a cameo in The Wiggles’ Big Ballet Day music video in December 2018.

A post shared by Dana Stephensen (@dana_stephensen)

From that brief workplace meeting, romance blossomed: after months of speculation, the pair finally confirmed they were a couple a year later. They were engaged in April 2020, and welcomed twin girls Lulu and Lottie in September last year.

And in a show of love, the couple actually each proposed to the other over two separate occasions.

“At the end of our summer holidays, I walked in to the most beautiful surprise – a room filled with the most incredible flowers and Lachy singing at his piano and then asking me to marry him,” Dana explained.

Lachy revealed that Dana “asked me to marry her at home under a fairy light sky and a very excited little boy in a beautiful bow tie”, referring to her young son from a previous relationship.

Red Wiggle marries Dorothy the Dinosaur

That’s right, Red Wiggle Simon Pryce is married to Dorothy the Dinosaur herself – well, the actress and model who once portrayed her.

Pryce and Lauren Hannaford met when she played Dorothy, Wags the Dog and Henry the Octopus on a 2011 Wiggles tour.

He wed the former gymnast six years later, and in January this year they welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Asher.

“I am so overcome with emotion and overwhelming feelings of love that it’s impossible to put into words everything I am feeling right now,” Pryce said after the birth.

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