Emma Watkins has spoken out for the first time since she announced that after a decade she would be hanging up her yellow skivvy with The Wiggles.

The popular singer and dancer shattered young hearts across Australia in October last year when she announced her departure from the hugely popular children’s group in order to focus on completing her PhD at Macquarie University. Now, Emma has spoken out about making the tough decision to walk away in a new interview with Stellar Magazine.

“I never, ever, ever – ever – want to let down the children. But I relate it to when I took time off after I had surgery for my endometriosis in 2018,” Emma explained of her choice to leave.

“I had two beautiful performers replace me on tour for a period of weeks. I felt terrible and kept thinking, how are we going to do this? But the children still came to the shows, because they love the music. That experience helped me make this decision because everyone was OK after that.”

It wasn’t always smooth sailing for the star, who revealed that she faced backlash and “wasn’t really liked” when she was introduced as the group’s first female member as many were “territorial about the original group.”

“It took about two or three years to actually have people accept that there was a female among the group; that was a massive deal back then,” she noted, adding, “So to then see how that changed over the decade, and children coming to the show dressed in beautiful Emma costumes, or wearing bows… it’s powerful.”

She went on to explain that as her fanbase grew, the group realised that such diversity was a way to introduce more children to music.

“We have a responsibility to introduce children to entertainment and I’m that vehicle. I’m really proud of that. It’s been so rewarding,” Emma said.

“But the time away during Covid showed me that I gave The Wiggles everything.”

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