Kiss'n'telly tubby to help Tinky

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The Independent Online
Tinky Winky, the Teletubbyousted from the cult BBC children's television show after 70 episodes, has resorted to the last throw of the failing TV star: he has turned to Max Clifford, king of the tabloid publicists.

The man who brought celebrity to Antonia de Sancha after David Mellor sucked her toe, and Mandy Allwood, when pregnant with eight babies, says he sees "great potential" in a business relationship between himself and the original Tinky Winky, actor and comedian Dave Thompson.

"I don't really know exactly what I will be able to do for him until I start," said Clifford. "But it seems to me that Tinky Winky is now a superstar."

Since Thompson's sudden departure from Teletubbyland, as a result of artistic differences with the show's creators at Ragdoll Productions, the actor's life has not been his own.

"There has been a camp of reporters outside my home the whole time," Thompson says. "I have had constant phone calls from as far away as Los Angeles. I am speaking to Max because there is so much interest in Tinky Winky now. I have been warned people could make a lot of money out of anything to do with my private life, and I would like him to help me with that."

The tabloid press have taken up the former Tinky Winky's case and are campaigning daily to have him reinstated inside his round purple suit with its trademark triangular headgear.

Following coverage of Tinky Winky's dismissal ratings for the show, aimed at toddlers, have rocketed from 500,000 to 2 million. However a BBC spokeswoman put the increase down to the start of the school holidays.