Australia is one of the most culturally rich and diverse countries globally and, in an era where diversity and inclusiveness are so vital, The Wiggles have developed a new series dedicated to celebrating and embracing all Australians.
Fruit Salad TV is set to premiere on September 4, 2021 exclusively on The Wiggles’ YouTube channel and will see the popular children’s group expand their lineup to include eight Wiggles.
Fruit Salad TV will feature singing, dancing, storytelling and, of course, the catchiest music that immediately engages children to sing and play along. But Fruit Salad TV will also seamlessly integrate the concept of embracing diversity in multiple forms, including culture, race, age and gender. The introduction of the new Wiggles’ cast aims to better represent today’s Australia, while enabling children worldwide to see themselves reflected on the screen.
Joining the much-loved current Wiggles of Anthony, Emma, Lachy, and Simon are a diverse and talented group of dancers and singers from across Australia who each bring something special to the group. Tsehay Hawkins is an award-winning dancer of Ethiopian descent; Taribelang woman Evie Ferris who is an extremely talented ballet dancer – only the second First Nations woman to have joined The Australian Ballet; John Pearce, of Filipino descent who is known as part of Australian music group Justice Crew; and Kelly Hamilton who is of Chinese/Australian background and was previously a dancer with The Wiggles as well as other children’s shows such as Sesame Street Live, Justine Clarke, and Dora The Explorer.
Fruit Salad TV was written by founding member Anthony Field AM who is an accredited expert in Early Childhood Education and has been awarded an Order of Australia in recognition of his service to the arts through children’s entertainment and the community through his charity work. Since Anthony began The Wiggles 30 years ago, the group has strived to entertain, educate and engage all children in Australia to promote a sense of understanding of the world around them and Fruit Salad TV is an important evolution for The Wiggles’ brand to reflect today’s pluralistic society.
“The Wiggles were created during a time when early childhood educational concepts were the focus,”
– said Anthony Field AM, Blue Wiggle.
“As society has evolved, we have embraced the need for diversity and inclusiveness and want children all over the world to see themselves reflected on the screen. It’s so important that The Wiggles continue to evolve along with our society. This is the first step towards shaping The Wiggles for the next 30 years, taking us in a direction that truly represents and serves our community more inclusively.
“We are excited for the next chapter in The Wiggles’ history which will start with Fruit Salad TV and continue on with our other content and our live shows. We can’t wait to introduce our amazing new lineup of incredibly talented performers to children in Australia and around the world.”
Professor Michael McDaniel AO, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), acted as an advisor on the project and agreed on the importance of showcasing diversity on screen.
“The importance of children seeing themselves reflected on screen has been well reported, and the launch of this new era for The Wiggles is a genuinely positive step forward. The new group is truly representative of today’s Australia and will help to foster great social cohesion within the community, which paves the way forward to a brighter future for all Australians”
– said Professor McDaniel.
The Wiggles are also expanding their characters in the Wiggle Town community. Joining the much-loved Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog and Henry the Octopus are three new non-binary characters: Officer Beaples, a dancing police officer with a big smile and painted on moustache; Shirley Shawn the Unicorn who likes to eat apples and drive around Wiggle Town in a mini red car; and Bok the hand puppet, a timid character who displays emotions for children to empathise with.
With the positive and exciting new changes, viewers and fans of The Wiggles are set to experience double the fun when the first episode of the new series of Fruit Salad TV debuts on The Wiggles’ YouTube Channel on September 4.
About The Wiggles
For three decades, The Wiggles, the world’s most popular children’s entertainment group have educated, entertained and enriched the lives of millions of pre-schoolers (and their parents) all over the globe. Today, generations of fans that grew up watching are sharing their love of The Wiggles with their own children. Having sold over 30 million albums and DVDs, 8 million books globally, as well as accumulating over one billion music streams and 2 billion views on YouTube,The Wiggles continue to dominate the preschool entertainment scene. Their live shows annually sell out to audiences on three separate continents, and their videos are seen in over 190 countries around the world.
For more information, visit www.thewiggles.com.
Introducing the new members of The Wiggles:
Tsehay, which means ‘the sun’ in Amharic (Ethiopian) is passionate about music and dance and enjoys performing Colombian cultural dances, Brazilian Samba, Salsa dancing, and loves to shuffle! She is an award-winning dancer and is the current Australian and World Youth Ladies Salsa and Urban Latin Champion as well as the current World Amateur Ladies Salsa and Urban Latin Champion.
Evie is a Taribelang woman who is a highly talented ballet dancer. She is the second First Nations woman to have joined The Australian Ballet and a lover of yoga and reading. Evie will be wearing blue ballet shoes to coordinate with her Wiggles shirt.
John is of an Australian/Filipino background and was born in Sydney. He is known for his involvement in the Australian pop music group Justice Crew where he achieved chart-topping success and multiple ARIA nominations. As a personal trainer, John will bring his love of getting strong, working out and dance to The Wiggles.
Kelly is from Sydney and is of a Chinese/Australian background. She was formerly a dancer for The Wiggles and has also performed in other children’s shows such as Sesame Street, Justine Clarke, Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob Squarepants and more. Kelly likes to ride her skateboard around Wiggle Town and loves to dance, watch live music and travel the world.