About my return to The Wiggles

I’ve written about this several times previously on this website.  However it seems to be a constant pre-occupation with some sections of the media and reference continues to be made to it from time to time.

It’s all quite simple, as I’ve explained before, but still misunderstood it seems – so I’ll have another go.

In 2012 I returned to The Wiggles, at their request, to help them out in making a transition to a new Yellow Wiggle. It was already decided before they approached me that Sam would not be continuing on in the role of the Yellow Wiggle – whether he knew that or not, is a matter for him and The Wiggles, but from what I have seen, he would have had a very good idea that he would not be continuing on.

It was all supposed to be handled professionally – a good news story all round.  But it turned into a media disaster.  The whole thing was, rightly, labelled a total PR blunder.

A large part of the media picture presented was that I had asked for my old job back and, as a result, Sam Moran (who had been the Yellow Wiggle since my illness in 2006) was dumped, sacked, bumped aside or something similar. That was untrue.

I had not asked to come back, but had been approached by The Wiggles and invited to return for a short period to fill the gap when Sam left.  I had nothing to do with Sam’s departure but was told originally that it had been agreed amicably all round.  The media coverage put a different spin on all of that so I contacted Sam at the time to see what he had been told.  It was not convenient at that time to talk just then so we deferred it.

When Sam and I finally caught up for a coffee and chat about it all, it turned out Sam knew I did not bump him aside, and that I was not responsible for his departure.    Instead we found we have similar views about what went wrong and where the responsibility lies.

It lies, not with The Wiggles themselves, but squarely with the Wiggles business manager at the time.  Everybody involved knows that.  This changeover was supposed to be managed in a professional, competent way but turned out to be a complete management bungle which was seized on by the media with relish, leaving me and The Wiggles under a black cloud.

So, whilst media hype was portraying me as the villain causing Sam to be bumped aside, I know it was untrue, Sam knows it was untrue, The Wiggles themselves know it was untrue, and Wiggles management knows it was untrue.  Yet it was allowed to happen and, despite all my efforts, it was allowed to go on happening without correction.