This is the heartbreaking origin behind The Wiggles signature 'Wiggles fingers' move

Any Wiggles fan (or parent of a Wiggles fan) knows the "wiggles finger", the signature move of the Australian group.

The move, which involves wiggling your hands with your thumb and index finger out is the group's most famous and a sure sign that anyone is a fellow Wiggles fan.

Now, one of the Wiggles co-founders, Murray Cook, has revealed that there is actually a very sad reason behind the move.

Speaking to SBS programme The Feed, in Australia, Cook, who was the original red wiggle and is still involved in the group, said the move represents a sad reality for male childhood educators and entertainers.

"The thing of being a man in early childhood [education], when you're a teacher in early childhood, you have to be aware that you can be accused of things," he told host Marc Fennell.

"In photos for instance, if there are kids there, if you've got your hands doing this [gesture], everyone sees where your hands are."

"It's a shame that it's an issue, but it's an issue and you have to protect yourself, as well."

The Wiggles fingers have been a popular move for more than 30 years, since the group first incorporated it in its performances. It is arguably the Wiggles' most iconic move and continues to be a big part of the show these days, as important as the Big Red Car or Wags the Dog.

The Wiggles, currently three men (Anthony, Simon and Lachy) and one woman (Emma), put a lot of effort into ensuring their performances are clean and void of any potential misunderstanding.

This has been the case since the beginning, more than three decades ago.

In 2005, Paul Paddick, who plays Captain Feathersword, told the Sydney Morning Herald that he was advised that any physical contact with kids was strictly forbidden.

This article was originally published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.