by Dan Gibson
It never really occurred to me that there would be a new batch of Wiggles, but I suppose I also just assumed that there would be a time when their popularity would fade away and the original cast would disappear with their giant piles of money (they earned $45 million Australian dollars as a group in 2009). Instead, now there's trouble in Wiggletown and three of the members are retiring, leaving Anthony (in blue, who is apparently the group's mastermind) behind. So much children's music drama! Who knew?
A Wiggles insider says public outrage over the way former Yellow Wiggle Moran had been treated by the group had "sucked all the life out of it" for Jeff Fatt and Murray Cook.
The pair, along with Greg Page, who was brought back to replace Moran just four months ago, has stood aside to make way for new blood.
Though Page's return was only ever intended to be an interim measure, his second exit from the group was expedited by his ongoing health problems and the retirement of Fatt and Cook.
The insider said the group was rocked by the public scrutiny and ill-will they faced when Moran was dumped over a pay dispute in January.
"Murray and Jeff are getting older and they've been thinking about this (retirement) for ages," the insider said.
"And Greg is still a very sick man. Their last concerts were duds and the ill-feeling towards them after Sam left really pushed them to do it."