In the annals of children's television, few programs have been more delightfully surreal
There has never been anything like Teletubbyland and its irresistible inhabitants.
Keep watching for some little-known trivia about the hit children's show.
Those giant rabbits Teletubbyland is notable for the giant rabbits
that populate it.
In real life, however, the winsome creatures' Easter-bunny-perfect lives were somewhat more
As Teletubbies writer and co-creator Andrew Davenport remembered it:
"They needed to be big to fit in with the scale, and the only suitable ones we could
find had been bred on the continent to be eaten.
[...] Their breeding had given them enlarged hearts, and almost weekly the animal trainer
would greet me in distress and tell me another had died."
The real Teletubbyland Teletubbies was a hit.
So much so, in fact, that the owner of the house and land where the series was filmed
in the United Kingdom couldn't take the influx of tourists coming to gawk at her property.
So farmer and landowner Rosemary Harding decided to take publicity-control into her own hands
and flooded out a large section of her property to make a pond where the Teletubby house once
Sun Baby revealed Teletubby world is presided over by a smiling
and cooing sun baby.
For years, nobody thought much about the identity of the real life tot, instead it was simply
an adorable presence beaming and gurgling over a happy land.
However, the original Sun Baby was revealed to have been one Jess Smith who was only 9
months old when she was selected to portray the merry solar infant in March of 1997.
Jess ended up filming 365 episodes of the original series.
And her decision to out herself was rather impromptu.
"I did it for uh my first year at university, we had to do an icebreaker that no one would
guess about ourselves, and that's how it all started really"
Jess's revelation must have been the most talked-about disclosure of the entire event.
baby laughing Not-so-small after all
While many people are shocked at how short some actors actually are when they meet them,
the opposite is true of the Teletubbies.
And it's all thanks to the magic of television.
Though the Teletubbies appear to be baby-friendly size as they prance around Teletubbyland they
are actually enormous in person.
Even more so than their famous peers, the lumbering Barney the purple dinosaur and Big
All of this is no small feat, for a cast that somehow manages to appear miniature.
The smallest Teletubbie, Po, is actually 6 ft. 6 inches tall, while the purple, red purse
toting Tinky Winky looms up at about 10 feet.
This does indeed make for a cumbersome costume, which stands in stark contrast to what appears
to be the Teletubbies' airy weightlessness.
Space age inspiration When most people see the Teletubbies and their
colorful antennas and giggly spaciness, they probably think of happy little aliens.
But it turns out the characters actually had a different space-themed inspiration: astronauts!
According to Anne Wood, the co-creator of the series, inspiration struck at the Smithsonian
in Washington thanks to the astronauts looking like toddlers in nappies.
So why the televisions in the Teletubbies' tummies?
The Teletubbies writers and creators were ahead of their time, in that respect.
Wood continued: "We were interested in how children were reacting
to the increasingly technological environment of the late 1990s."
Teletubbyland all started with the moon landings, and the hoppy bounciness of the astronauts
in that famous footage eventually became the floaty giddiness of the Teletubbies themselves.
The truth about Tinky Winky A lot of things that are weird, wonderful,
and original have traditionally been condemned for being "subversive," and Teletubbies was
In 1999, televangelist Jerry Falwell made headlines when he claimed that one Teletubby,
the purple Tinky Winky, was probably a homosexual.
He wrote at the time: "He is purple - the gay pride color, and his
antenna is shaped like a triangle - the gay pride symbol."
He also voiced his distress about the bright red purse that the character routinely carried
around, despite the fact that he had a boy's voice.
As Tinky Winky actor Simon Shelton himself put it:
"People always ask me if Tinky Winky is gay.
But the character is supposed to be a three-year-old, so the question is really quite silly."
The next generation When the Tiddlytubbies debuted, many fans
were left asking: "Teletubbies with child?
How could it be?"
But the Tiddlytubbies could theoretically have come from anywhere, including the stork
or the new Sun Baby.
The Tiddlytubbies reside with the Teletubbies in their own wing of the Home Dome, and have
their own playroom, which is equipped with all sorts of neat gadgets.
It's probably best to assume that the Teletubbies did not, in fact, procreate as we know it.
The Tiddlytubbies likely just beamed down, or sprouted up with the flowers.
Either way, your kids probably love them.