Some sad news has emerged relating back to a favorite childhood television show for many growing up in the late ’90s. Teletubbies actor Simon Shelton Barnes has died at the age of 52, per The Independent. Reportedly, the Tinky-Winky portrayer, who was the father of three children, died shortly after his 52nd birthday on January 17, 2018. Barnes’ family, Teletubbies (line producer: Mary Pyke) co-stars, and fans of the show have all spoken out about his unfortunate passing.
The Daily Mail reported that according to a friend of the Teletubbies star, he died of hypothermia after collapsing in the street. He was reportedly a resident of Ampthill in Bedfordshire before his passing. The Independent reports that a funeral service will be held on Feb. 7 and that family have asked those who attend to wear bright colors in his honor.
Barnes was, of course, best known for his role in the BBC program, which he was a part of from 1998 to 2001. Although, he did not originate the role as he replaced original purple Teletubby portrayer Dave Thompson. Even though he wasn’t the original Tinky-Winky, Barnes still made the role his own.
According to The Independent, Barnes was a trained ballet dancer and choreographer who was hesitant to step into the role on the children’s TV show. Eventually, the actor came to appreciate his time on the program and even called it, “a bit like the Beatles or Take That of television”. He also reportedly said that he did think Teletubbies was a “risky” career move for him. “I thought it was a bit of a risky move but it…