Teletubbies’ Tinky Winky actor freezes to death

2018-01-24 13:11
PHOTO: Getty Images

PHOTO: Getty Images

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What a tragic end to one of TV’s best-loved kiddie characters!

Actor Simon Shelton Barnes who played Tinky Winky in the BBC’s wildly popular children’s show, Teletubbies, was found frozen to death.

The body of the 52-year-old father of three was found last Wednesday at 7.30 am in a street in Liverpool.

It appears he’d collapsed and died of hypothermia just four days after celebrating his birthday, The Guardian reports.

In a poignant post, his make-up artist and hairstylist daughter Lydia Barnes said, “I love you so much dad. Always have, always will. The most beautiful man in the world. Forever in my heart.”

Simon, who was also a talented photographer, trained as a ballet dancer and choreographer before taking on the role of Tinky Winky – the purple Teletubby who carried a ‘magic bag’ - from 1998 to 2001.

Tributes have been pouring in, amongst them from his former co-star, John Simmit, who played Dipsy.

“What a week! RIP Simon Shelton aka Tinky Winky: remembering the many good times. Rest easy,” John Tweeted. 

“Lots of messaging between cast and crew as we became a tight bunch over six years on location. We'll give him an appropriate send off in a couple of weeks.”

His post was retweeted by actress, Pui Fan Lee, who played Po in The Teletubbies, who now presents the CBeebies programme Show Me, Show Me.

Barnes’ former flatmate Judith Tynan, who lived with him in Merseyside in the final year of his life, told Daily Mail, “I'm gobsmacked at losing him. He was charming and handsome and delicate and so lovely to be around. He wasn't difficult, he was pleasurable and a delicate man.”

She said the Teletubbies was his “pièce de résistance” and they “laughed a lot about it because it was silly and he used to tell me that costume weighed 60lbs. It was a big to-do to wear it because it was just a big thing, but it made him - it made his life and put him on the map.”

Sources: The Guardian, Daily Mail, Twitter

Read more on:    children

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