Television TV

The Teletubbies

They came and conquered the world’s children in the 1990’s. You must remember when they came. One day the world was without Teletubbies, the next day they were EVERYWHERE.

All the phrases worming their way into the consciousness of the impressionable minds of the nations (and worlds) infants. La la, Tinky winky, Po. That horribly catchy theme tube “Over the hill and far away the Teletubbies come to play"

For me, I was way to old to have my impressionable infant brain imprinted with this BBC Tv series for Kids. It was produced from 1997 to 2001 by Ragdoll Productions. In fact - Ragdoll's creative director Anne Wood CBE and Andrew Davenport, wrote each of the show's 365 episodes – I know there were 365 episodes! They all seemed the same to me!

Still I was at college at the time, and me and friends found the programme really very funny. It was actually great to watch with friends. Though being up at the right time to watch it wasn’t always possible – these were the days before “on-demand” television.

The last episode was made in 2001 – I expect that they thought 365 was enough – one for every day of the year!

The programme features 4 characters, who are humanoid, although they are not human. They all have televisions in their tummies that they can watch. The characters, “La la”, “Tinky Winky”, “Dipsy” and “Po” are different colours and have fairly big large-eyed child faces. Tinky Winky is purple, Dipsy is green, Laa-Laa is yellow, and Po is red. They live in a futuristic dome (the "Tubbytronic Superdome") set in a landscape of rolling green hills where the only natural fauna are rabbits

The Teletubbies have the body proportions, behaviour, and language of toddlers which was all intended in that the show was developed by cognitive psychologist Andrew Davenport! So it was all a psychological conspiracy! The constant repetition of words and actions is familiar to everyone who has kids! They even speak in a gurgling baby language.

The Teletubbies' diet seems to be almost exclusively "Tubby Custard" and "Tubby Toast." Tubby Custard (mispronounced as "Tubby Tustard" by the characters). No wonder it was a hit with students at the time!

Amazingly, (and perhaps hilariously) at the time. Teletubbies actually became controversial! American cleric and conservative pundit Jerry Falwell claimed in 1999 that Tinky Winky, one of the Teletubbies, was a homosexual role model for children!!! Falwell really seemed convinced by it! He said that the character's purple colour and triangular antenna were signs of the Gay Pride movement, and noted that Tinky Winky often carried a red handbag.

The BBC’s official response was (brilliantly!), "Tinky Winky is simply a sweet, technological baby with a magic bag." And that is also true of Alan Carr.

The programme had some really very funny moments that were completely inexplicable – things happened like in one episode a carousel lands on the grass and a teddy bear tap dances on its stage.

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Do You Remember The Teletubbies?

Do You Remember The Teletubbies?