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Teletubbies creator attacks firms

Teletubbies creator Anne Wood has criticised firms that profit from parents' "anxieties" about how to bring up their children.

The 73-year-old, who worked as a teacher before getting into children's television, also told BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs about the horrified reactions she faced from some people when Teletubbies was first shown.

Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po appeared on BBC TV for the first time in 1997 and became a worldwide hit - screened in more than 100 countries, translated into 45 languages - and even notched up a number one single with their debut release, Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh.

But the show also had its critics - most notably when American preacher Jerry Falwell claimed Tinky Winky could be a gay role model.

Ms Wood said: "It was the most extraordinary experience because I wanted to make a programme that had love in it, that was about big hugs... you'd have thought I'd started World War Three, the response that happened. But there are people who are afraid of it for some reason. It's innocent fun, that's all it is."

Ms Wood, who grew up in a mining village in the north east of England, also created hit shows Rosie And Jim and In The Night Garden

She said: "There is an awful lot of anxiety being generated which I think is a terrible thing. What I was talking about was just enjoying innocent fun really, having a sing and playing round and round the garden."

She also criticised the Baby Einstein range of educational children's toys, saying: "The idea that there is only one way for a child to be intellectually developed is anathema to me so I hate that and I think that it is again making money out of people's anxieties, which is a shame."


From Belfast Telegraph