Page 3 Profile: Tinky Winky, Children's TV Star


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That’s right, Tinky Winky, the big purple, terry-cloth Teletubby is back! The BBC has announced a new series of the much-love children’s TV programme, The Teletubbies, to entertain a new generation on CBeebies. Kay Benbow, a controller at the channel, said: “I’m sure they will engage with and delight in the activities of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po, in the same way that children and parents did when they first appeared on our screens.”

They’re all back? Noo-noo too?

Yep, the whole gang, including the television tummies, vacuum cleaner and giggling sun-baby, are expected to return more than a decade after the aerial-topped characters waved “bye-bye” in 2001. The Teletubbies began in 1997 and aired for 365 episodes, becoming a global phenomenon and possibly one of the BBC’s best exports, airing in 45 languages and 120 countries.

And what about Tinky Winky’s red handbag?

Fashionable as it was, it is not known whether the controversial bag will be back. It caused a stir when the American televangelist Jerry Falwell declared Tinky Winky a “covert homosexual symbol” for carrying it.

Will Teletubbyland be the same?

The makers have said the show will be “visually enhanced” with some CGI animation. But don’t worry, it’s in safe hands – the new season will be made by the production company Darrall Macqueen, which brought us Topsy and Tim. And they certainly understand the magnitude of the task before them – Maddy Darrall, the executive producer, said being asked to make the show was “like being handed the television crown jewels”.

And when can we expect the new shows?

Unfortunately, this is still unknown, but we can definitely expect 60 new episodes. And if you really can’t wait, repeats of the original Teletubbies series are currently being aired on CBeebies.