31 Mar: Meet The Teletubbies

Tinky Winky, Dipsy, La La and Po were introduced to British viewers on 31st March, 1997 – launching an international phenomenon and changing kid’s television forever.

‘Teletubbies’ was an enormous hit for the BBC, but not without controversy: from viewers concerned that the characters’ toddlerish language might impede the linguistic development of the nation’s children, to angry Radio Times readers who claimed the BBC were committing ‘cultural vandalism’ by axing the long-running series Playdays.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly get lost in the weeds of Teletubbies Wiki fandom; revisit the ‘toy rage’ that the show had inspired by Christmas 1997; and reveal why the first generation ‘tubbies never did live appearances… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Teletubbies turn 20: how four blinking toddlers became a true TV phenomenon’ (The Guardian, 2017): https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/mar/31/teletubbies-turn-20-how-four-blinking-toddlers-became-a-true-tv-phenomenon

• ‘The Great Distractor’ (Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy, 2021): https://www.mediatechdemocracy.com/work/the-great-distractor

• ‘Teletubbies: Ned’s Bicycle’ (BBC, 1997):

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