Uh oh ... Teletubbies hit the shops

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BBC chiefs are expecting a Teletubbie bonanza this week as the first books and videos based on the cult BBC2 programme go on sale today.

Thousands of mothers across Britain are expected to snap up the Here Come the Teletubbies video and a clutch of paperbacks, including The Magic Flag and Laa-Laa's Ball. The most highly prized gifts will be the fluffy Teletubbie figures of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po (below). The BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, insists it is not cashing in on the show's popularity, saying the products are part of a long-term educational programme; 260 episodes of Teletubbies have so far been commissioned, to run until next autumn, and are aimed at pre-school children.