From Dorothy the Dinosaur to world of fitness
Lauren Hannaford left the world of The Wiggles, where she met her husband Simon the red Wiggle, to focus on a career as a personal trainer. And she's loving it.
Q You met your husband Simon (Red Wiggle) while on tour when you were Dorothy the Dinosaur. How does a Wiggle chat up a Dinosaur?
We met when I first started touring with The Wiggles. We had a really nice friendship to start with and I did a lot of training backstage and running and he asked if he could join me and we became inseparable.
Q You've also played Henry the Octopus and Wags the Dog. Is it difficult to manoeuvre around in those costumes?
They are all different shapes with different visuals but Dorothy was probably the hardest because you can only see 1.5m in front of her. And it was quite physically tiring, the shows were a workout in themselves, even without the costume.
Q You got to a national level in gymnastics. Did you start young?
My parents took me to what is now Olympic Park when I was five to see if I liked gymnastics and I did almost straight away. From about the age of seven I was training every day, sometimes before and after school.
Q Tell us about your fitness program, FHIT. How does it stand out from others?
The idea is that you can do it from wherever you are, as long as you have wi-fi, and you don't need any equipment because it is based on using your own body weight.
I love that it's really interactive. People have told me they find themselves talking back to me through the screen because it's like I'm there in the room with them.
Q So have you found yourself working out in some unusual places?
Probably the most unusual places were when I was touring with The Wiggles. I've trained alongside the tour bus in the carpark, in a tiny laundry of a theatre under the stage - anywhere I could swing my arms.
Q Simon must have to tour a lot. How do you cope with all that time apart?
He tours nine to 10 months of the year and we just manage it as best we can. If he's in a city for more than a few days I'll try to fly out to meet him. Also, thank God for technology, we are able to communicate constantly.
Q Was it a difficult for you to leave The Wiggles and miss that time together?
It was a difficult decision to leave. I had been with them for four years. But when you're not touring you have to find non-Wiggle work, which was always hard because then you'd have to leave that to go on tour again.
As I got to the stage where I was Dorothy, the next step would have been to become an actual Wiggle, which wasn't in my sights.
Q You both competed on Ninja Warrior this year. How was it?
We're not very competitive. I wanted him to do better than me and vice versa. It was so much harder than we thought it was going to be.
You can practise and practise but until you get there, you don't know what the obstacles are going to be. So much is just left to chance. But it was nice to focus on it together and cheer each other.