RED Wiggle Murray Cook, who grew up at Taren Point, is counting the days to Sunday, December 23.
With live concerts at Sydney Entertainment Centre at 10am and 1.30pm, that is the day when his career with Australia's most popular children's entertainment group will end — officially.
"I will definitely miss my time with The Wiggles," Cook said in Adelaide where The Wiggles are performing at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
"It was a very bittersweet decision, one I mainly made so I could spend more time with my family, my two teenagers, a girl and a boy.
"Even though they're almost grown I want to spend some time with them while they still want me around. But I'll miss performing and I'll miss the audiences."
Cook said the greatest memory he would take with him from The Wiggles was " the impact we have had on children's lives, especially on children with special needs".
"We have met many families who have told us of the impact The Wiggles have had.
"For instance, many parents of children with autism have told us that The Wiggles videos have connected with their children when nothing else has. This has been enormously rewarding."
Before joining the band Murray was a preschool teacher, which is not a career he would return to, although he said he might try teaching in tertiary education "where I have had some experience".
"But after 21 years as an entertainer I think that is really my field now," he said.
He is an entertainer who performs in the grown-up band, Bang Shang a Lang, and who has an associated hobby — collecting guitars.
"I have about 50 guitars now but I haven't bought anything new for a while because I'm running out of room," Cook said.
Perhaps surprisingly, he said his years with The Wiggles had turned him off the colour red.
"I have four shirts with red collars in my wardrobe but no skivvies," he said. "I used to love wearing red but once it became my 'uniform' I stopped."
What isn't surprising is that when performing with Bang Shang a Lang Cook frequently meets up with parents whose children are Wiggles fans.
"Lots of parents in the audience ask for photos or autographs," Cook said.
"There is a lot of goodwill surrounding The Wiggles."
Win tickets to see the Wiggles
VOLKSWAGEN Australia is offering Leader readers a final chance to meet The Wiggles on their celebration tour.
As proud sponsors of The Wiggles, Volkswagen Australia has five family tickets up for grabs at the morning show at All Phones Arena, Sydney, on Sunday, December 9, one of their last appearances together before they hand over their skivvies to a new generation of Wiggles.
Fans can win tickets for the highly anticipated show and a special ‘‘meet-and-greet’’ the original Wiggles themselves, one last chance to have your photograph taken with Murray, Anthony, Greg and Jeff after 21 years together.
To celebrate the tour, Volkswagen Australia has partnered with The Wiggles to auction the famous Volkswagen big red car to raise awareness and funds for SIDS and Kids.
Visit vwbigredcar.com.au for your chance to own a piece of Wiggles history.
For your chance to win one of five family passes (two adults, two children) email the words ‘‘The Wiggles’’ and your name, address and contact number to email@example.com.
Competition starts at 9am on November 29, 2012, and ends noon on December 3, 2012. Full terms and conditions: http://thesauce.info./
Authorised under NSW permit number LTPM/12/00733.