ENTERTAINMENT

EXCLUSIVE: Emma Watkins on Lachlan Gillespie: “We were always meant to be best friends”

The Yellow Wiggle opened up to WHO about her split from Lachy and how they've remained friends.
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Emma Watkins and Lachlan Gillespie shocked the nation when they announced in August 2018 that they’d decided to part ways. Although they made no secret of the fact their “situation had changed” after Emma endured a series of health scares, the Yellow Wiggle recently revealed to WHO that separating from her husband of two years was the best decision she ever made!  

“We are the best of friends and we were always meant to be,” she told WHO online exclusively.

“We were close before we started dating and now we’ve come full circle! We have been through the whole process of being Wiggly dancers, then Wiggles in training and then finally Wiggles… I actually don’t know if I could ever imagine The Wiggles tour without him.” 

WATCH: Fluent in sign language, Emma shows WHO the top three hand sings everyone needs to know! 

For most, working with an ex-partner so soon after separating would be difficult, even at the best of times. But the children’s entertainer says it’s been an easy process— and, surprisingly, their divorce brought them closer together. 

“Lachy is the only person I’ve experienced this whole Wiggles journey with the whole way through,” she began. “At the time of our split, we were both learning a lot and both changing as adults. It’s definitely bizarre and not a normal situation but because we are playing music, dancing with each other and always interacting, it’s actually brought us closer together.

“We can work together and we are better than ever. We have done all of the highlights and lowlights and now we’re here! We appreciate each other so much more”  

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When asked whether it’s ever awkward, the professional dancer says they have no time to fret about the small things. 

“We’re so busy touring nine months of the year that we don’t buy into any of that. We just get each other and we are so connected.” 

Although she says she’s currently too busy to find time to relax, let alone date, she told WHO that regardless of her endometriosis prognosis— which forced her to bow out of The Wiggles’ Australian tour last year— she’s always known that children are on the cards for her. 

“It’s been a journey,” she began. “I am a year and three months post-surgery, and I can only really just do everything now. You feel so protective about your body and you’re so in tune with it as a dancer, so the diagnosis really rocked me. I thought it would be an easy and quick surgery, but it was severe, it was stage four.

“They cut away so much good tissue so the chances of conceiving have decreased, but I love kids and I want them in the future. I just need to find some time!” 

Currently rehearsing for their lengthy Wiggles tour, Emma, who’s undoubtedly one of the busiest women in the entertainment industry, has somehow managed to find time to sign on as the newest ambassador for Storysign— an innovative mobile app that translates popular children’s books like ‘Max the Brave’ and ‘All About Spot’ into sign language.

So, how does it work? Emma explains it best. 

“When you read the book and put your phone across it, a little avatar appears and it translates whatever is on the page into sign,” she said. “If parents are deaf and the child is hearing, this app also means they can read a book with their parents and feel like they can understand it. It’s also great for parents who have children with hearing difficulties as they can learn sign with them.”

Learning sign language at the age of 11 to communicate with her two deaf friends, the beloved star says it’s a skill that’s completely transformed the way she communicates with her audience. 

“As soon as I start signing during the show, if there are any deaf children or parents in the audience, we have the ability to connect on another level as they sign back to me. It’s amazing the difference it makes,” she said. 

“Not long ago we were doing a show and this little girl in the audience who was deaf was very anxious and distressed. I went over and sat with her in the front row and signed my name and she instantly signed hers back. Instantly, all of her worries disappeared. She knew she wasn’t alone.” 

Now more determined than ever to raise awareness and educate Australians on the importance of learning Auslan, the 29-year-old has spent the last few months teaching her wiggles co-stars how to sign their name.   

“In the deaf community you have a sign name, so having the boys learn theirs has really helped them communicate with our audience. While the show is happening and we’re singing and dancing, we can have a whole conversation with deaf children in the audience. It’s an incredible skill to have and one that should be taught in all schools across Australia.” 

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