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February 12, 2003

Got a Case of the Wiggles?

It took this group a mere five minutes to sell out 43 shows on the US east coast. They've sold nearly 2 million copies of 11 albums and more than 9 million videos since their 1991 debut. They're not a rock band or even an idol group. Right now, the Wiggles are the biggest thing in tiny-tot entertainment. And their appeal goes beyond their legions of pre-school fans - they also meet with the approval of parents and educators, who consider them a very 'wholesome' group. Three members of the Australian quartet first met while taking early childhood education courses at Sydney's Macquarie University in 1990. Lead vocalist Greg Page says: "Our unique background in early childhood education equips us with a better and more in-depth understanding of children - understanding what interests them, what makes them feel comfortable and the things that make them laugh." Their performances are enlivened by a supporting cast that includes Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus and Wags the Dog. The band have signed a franchise deal with Disney, with 'cloned' bands to be created throughout Asia. Auditions for a Japanese version of the Wiggles are being held this month. Time to get wiggling.

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