Australian Story: Sept 17

Australian Story this week profiles Wiggle Emma Watkins, including her marriage break-down and diagnosis with endometriosis.

This episode is introduced by Wiggles founder Anthony Field.

“I think my health was a real start for me to think about myself, and to think about how healthy I was in myself emotionally and spiritually and physically.”

Emma Watkins

Australian Story goes behind the scenes of Australia’s most successful children’s group to chart the extraordinary rise of Emma Watkins, the first female Wiggle.

And in a television exclusive, Emma reveals the circumstances behind her separation from Purple Wiggle Lachlan Gillespie, who she married in 2016.

Also featuring interviews with Gillespie, Wiggles founder Anthony Field, Wiggles manager Paul Field, Emma’s doctor and her family, The Show Must Go On offers an intimate portrait of one of Australia’s most popular performers.

When three members of the original Wiggles line-up retired in 2012, Emma, a dancer with the group, was as surprised as anyone to be offered the yellow skivvy. The Show Must Go On reveals the challenges faced by new line-up and the key role Emma played in the revitalisation of the band.

“Emma is number one. She’s the Elvis of The Wiggles. You look into the audience, 60, 80 per cent of the children are dressed like Emma.”

Anthony Field, Wiggle

As Emma’s star continued to rise, her health was failing. Despite collapsing several times, she ignored her worsening symptoms until she was finally diagnosed with endometriosis at the beginning of this year.

“Once I saw Emma it was crystal clear she had endometriosis and she’s just been ignoring it and pushing it by the wayside.”

Professor Jason Abbott, surgeon

Her decision to go public about her illness brought much-needed attention to the disease, which affects one in 10 Australian women.

As Emma reveals to Australian Story, it was her health problems that led her to re-evaluate other areas of her life and ultimately her decision to separate from Lachy.

Emma speaks candidly about her return to the stage after surgery, the breakdown of her marriage and her enduring love for her former partner and fellow Wiggle.

8pm Monday on ABC.

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