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Teletubbies Tinky Winky Actor Was Sacked For Being 'Not Acceptable'

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Teletubbies Tinky Winky Actor Was Sacked For Being 'Not Acceptable'

Teletubbies 'Tinky Winky' actor Dave Thompson was reportedly sacked from the show for displaying 'non-acceptable' behaviour back in 1997.

Comedian Dave Thompson was the first actor to put on the famous purple Tiny Winky costume. However, he was 'asked to leave' after the first series because his 'interpretation of the role was not acceptable', according to The Mirror.

There was an implication that he made the role 'too effeminate'.

Dave Thompson. Credit: Twitter/@davethompsonha
Dave Thompson. Credit: Twitter/@davethompsonha
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Responding to the sacking at the time, the actor said: "I wasn't given any clues as to what I was doing wrong. I was officially asked to leave in a letter from an accountant just before everyone else went off to the end-of-shooting wrap party.

"Although I'd already been given the idea that they might let me go, the two directors had told me they were happy with Tinky Winky and I felt I was doing my best.

"I am proud of my work for them. I was always the one to test out the limitations of the costume.

"I was the first to fall off my chair and roll over. I took all the risks."

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Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Hardline US evangelist Jerry Falwell attacked the show around the time of Thompson's sacking, warning parents that 'Tinky Winky is purple, the gay pride colour, and his antenna is shaped like a triangle: the gay pride symbol'.

In response to the attack, Thompson told Echo News: "The whole thing about Tinky Winky being camp came from the fact he had a red handbag - all the Teletubbies have got a favourite toy.

"The idea is they found these objects and chose one and they played with it.

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"Adults are projecting adult sexuality on to a children's cuddly toy.

"Laurel and Hardy picked up on the humour of a big, fat person being very graceful.

"If big, fat Oliver Hardy had been clumping around and banging into things it wouldn't have been as funny, but they knew if they did a little dance it was funny because of the incongruity of a big, fat body with graceful movements.

"So that's what I did."

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Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Dave was replaced with actor Simon Shelton, who was a part of the team that helped gained huge success in the UK and US.

In 2013 he said: "We used to receive a lot of fan mail from kind and parents, I suppose we were a bit like The Beatles or Take That of children's television."

Unfortunately, Simon passed away in 2018 from hypothermia.

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Teletubies was originally released in 1997 and went on for nine seasons and did an incredible 485 episodes. The original series lasted from 31 March 1997 - 16 February 2001.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: UK News, TV and Film, BBC

Anish Vij
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