The Wiggles wished Paul, who is also the brother of founding member Anthony Field, “all the best in his future endeavours”.
This has left fans wondering if this is a precursor for a split between Blue Wiggle Anthony, Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins, Purple Wiggle Lachlan ‘Lachy’ Gillespie and Red Wiggle Simon Pryce.
An industry insider tells New Idea that the gravity of Paul’s departure means it “could possibly shift all the rules within the band”.
“Paul leaving is a major changing of the guard with The Wiggles and marks the end of a really important chapter in the band’s development.
Like many in the entertainment industry, The Wiggles has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to cancelling all upcoming tours, the band were forced to lay off touring staff.
“We’ve had to stand down our beautiful cast, a lot of our dancers, the lady that goes around and sells the merchandise, truck drivers, sound crew. It’s heart-breaking,” Anthony recently admitted.
The insider adds that this tumultuous period will be all the more difficult to navigate without Paul as the band’s guiding light.
“Without him, where do The Wiggles go next, especially in such dramatically shifting times through this COVID-19 shutdown,” says the source.
“And just as importantly, what does this mean to how each of the current members see their own futures?”
There has been speculation recently that the personal and professional agendas of key band members may no longer be in alignment – particularly between former married couple, Emma and Lachy.
Despite calling time on their two-year marriage, the pair have continued to amicably work alongside one another since their 2018 split.
“A lot of people have said to us that they just can’t see how it can be so amicable,” Emma, 30, admitted to ABC’s Australian story in 2018.
“But truly, Lachy and I, we just get each other. Just because we’re not romantically together anymore doesn’t mean we’re not together for the rest of our life.”
Both Emma and Lachy, 34, have since found new relationships among The Wiggles’ wider cast – Emma is dating guitarist Oliver Brian and Lachlan recently announced his engagement to ballerina and show guest star, Dana Stephensen.
But question marks have always remained over the long-term viability of the exes’ ability to work together.
Meanwhile, there’s a growing chorus of support for both Emma and Lachy to pursue solo projects.
Anthony has previously admitted that “Emma is the most popular Wiggle by far.”
In 2015 she starred in her own hugely successful ABC Kids program Emma! and has also released two solo albums. The beloved entertainer is also an ambassador for Huawei’s StorySign – an app helping deaf children to read.
Meanwhile, talented singer, pianist and guitarist Lachy has also been encouraged to launch a solo music career.
“You should release an entire album of you singing at your piano!” responded one fan to a video Lachy shared on Instagram.
There’s also musings that the recently engaged performer, who will also become the stepfather to Dana’s 4-year-old son, Jasper, may be considering putting The Wiggles on hold to start a family.
Meanwhile, Simon, 48, could potentially swap his Wiggles costume for training gear. The Red Wiggle is married to fitness trainer Lauren Hannaford and regularly uploads social media posts of their workouts.
If the foursome were to part ways, it would be the end of the era for Anthony, who founded the group in 1991 alongside his university mates Greg Page and Murray Cook, before recruiting final original member, Jeff Fatt.
The 56-year-old lives and breathes The Wiggles, but the source questions whether the momentum of the successful group could continue without his brother alongside him.
“As brothers, they have always been on each other’s side and that bond is unshakeable, even through some of the tougher times the band has endured,” says the source.
“Anthony has such a passion for The Wiggles, but without Paul there, it places Anthony in the position of being the only original member of the band still on the team.
“That has to be a lonely position to find himself in, in the times ahead.
”For more, pick up the latest issue of New Idea. Out now!