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Teletubbies Unmasked: Here’s What They Really Look Like

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It’s been 22 years since the Teletubbies debuted, and it’s about time we unmasked one of our childhood favourite characters. Ever since its BBC debut, the show has been broadcast in 120 countries and also translated into 45 languages.


“Teletubbies, Teletubbies, say hello!”


Yesterday, we revealed who the sun baby is and how she looks now, and today, we intend to blow your minds. Contrary to what you may have believed as a child, those big cuddly friends did not just pop up in your screen someday to entertain you. There was a lot of crafting and production that occurred to make up the perfect show for children.


***Plat4om giveaway: Check the picture at the end for a surprise.***


Teletubbies was a children morning show that exploited the lives of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po. They were known for their bright colours, playful language and chirpy attitudes.


Although parents – as usual – found a way to find something wrong with it. Some people actually sat down and came up with five conspiracy theories about Teletubbies. Well, rather than delve into all of that, we’ve decided to keep your lips, sunny-side up.


However, you choose to see this unmasking depends on you. Get ready to have your childhood memories changed as we bring to you the people behind your favourite childhood Teletubby characters.


Teletubbies unmasked: Here’s what they really look like



(Note: The first pre-school show Teletubbies ran from 1997 to 2001)


Tinky Winky



This was the first handbag-carrying Teletubby. He was also the largest of the clan and was a bright purple colour. He always seemed like the older and more mature Teletubby even if they were all silly and childish. However, the fact that he carried a handbag even if he was clearly male was a puzzle too many.


Tinky Winky Unmasked

Simon Shelton


Tinky Winky was played by the late Simon Shelton, who died on 17th January 2018. He was born 13th January 1966. Simon was a trained ballet dancer and choreographer, and he was survived by three children before his unfortunate death. According to an inquest, he died frpm hypothermia.


“I started my career as a ballet dancer and had just started working as a choreographer. I thought it was a bit of a risky move, but it certainly paid off,” he once told The Sun. “We used to receive a lot of fan mail from kids AND parents. I suppose we were a bit like the Beatles or the Take That of children’s television.”


On the penchant for carrying a handbag, Shelton said: “People always ask me if Tinky Winky is gay. But the character is supposed to be a three-year-old, so the question is really quite silly,” he said.





This was that big green character that came next to Tinky Winky. He was the coolest of them all. It was quite easy to think Dipsy was a woman because of the name, but he is a man – an African one at that. He was named Dipsy because his antenna resembles a dipstick. If looked at closely, you would notice his face is darker than the rest giving a hint of Dipsy’s race. He enjoyed wearing his black and white furry top hat. The whole idea of the hat was for the character to represent cultural equality.


Dipsy Unmasked



Dipsy was played by John Simmit. He spoke of life after the show for him. “I was a stand-up before I became Dipsy, so I carried on doing that when the series came to an end five years ago,” he said at the show’s ten-year anniversary celebration. “The stand-up circuit is pretty close-knit so people got to know that I was Dipsy – but I never mentioned it on stage.”


Laa Laa



She was the girly one who reminded viewers of sunflowers. She is the third yellow Teletubby who loved a bouncy, orange ball, which was almost as big as she is. Laa Laa loved to dance and sing and also had a grand time. She was identified by her yellow colour and curly antenna.


Laa Laa Unmasked



Laa Laa was played by Dancer Nikky Smedley. She once revealed that she got the role after responding to a newspaper advert. Nikky also revealed that wearing that suit wasn’t as easy as it seemed. She explained that it was heavy and hot, and they had to wear it for about 11-hours while working.


In 2012, she spoke out after the show was accused of being laced with gay innuendos. She denied it by saying, “I think it’s embarrassing for the people who said it. What kind of person can take the obvious innocence and turn it into something else? We were hardly s*xual beings.”





This was the fourth and cutest of the Teletubby clan. He was the smallest and youngest of them all. Po was rosy red in colour with an antenna shaped like a stick used for blowing bubbles. His favourite object was his scooter. Whenever we saw that scooter on TV, it incurred a genuine smile.


Po Unmasked



Po was played by a woman, actress Pui Fan Lee who went on to hosting CBeebies after the show ended. When asked about the show and its fame, she said, “When we were in the show it was weird because we never dreamed anyone would be the slightest bit interested in us. But at the height of our popularity, there were photographers jumping out of bushes.”


See them all in one shot


Watch this video of how Teletubby works

Plat4om giveaway: Check the picture at the end for a surprise.

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