Teletubbies Wiki
Tinky Winky
Tinky Winky.jpg
Gender Male
Height 10' 0"
Hair None
Eyes Brown
Skin Bluish-Purple (indigo) (outside) Peach (inside)
Favourite thing Red Bag

Tinky Winky "Tinkus Winkus" is the first Teletubby who lives in Teletubbyland with the other Teletubbies.

Physical Characteristics

Tinky Winky, (played by Dave Thompson (from 1997), Mark Heenehan (from 1997-2001), and Simon Shelton (1997-2001, 2007, 2009) in the original series and Jeremiah Krage (2015-present) in the new series) is the first Teletubby. He is the largest and oldest of the Teletubbies, being 10 feet tall. He's purple, has an effeminate personality, and a triangle-shaped antenna on his head. His favorite thing is a red bag (described by the show as a "magic bag", but often described by other media as a woman’s purse), which he often carries. He often hangs out with Po and Laa Laa.

Personality and traits

Not only is Tinky Winky the biggest Teletubby, he is also very kind and gentle. His favourite thing is his red bag. Tinky Winky loves walking, marching, dancing and falling over. He has a special song which he loves to sing to himself, 'Pinkle winkle, Tinky Winky, pinkle winkle, Tinky Winky Woo woo woo woo...'. He's also the most giggly of the Teletubbies, as he often giggles and chuckles when he speaks. Tinky Winky loves very big hugs.

Tinky Winky controversy

Tinky Winky started a still hinted at controversy in 1999 due to his carrying a bag that looks much like a woman's handbag (although he was first "outed" by the academic and cultural critic Andy Medhurst in a letter of July 1997 to The Face). He aroused the interest of Jerry Falwell in 1999 when Falwell alleged that the character was a "gay role model". Falwell issued an attack in his National Liberty Journal, citing a Washington Post "In/Out" column which stated that lesbian comedian Ellen DeGeneres was "out" as the chief national gay representative, while trendy Tinky Winky was "in". He warned parents that Tinky Winky could be a hidden homosexual symbol, because "he is purple, (the gay pride colour,) and his antenna is shaped like a triangle: the gay pride symbol".[6]

The BBC, who co-produced the programme, made an official response, "Tinky Winky is simply a sweet, technological baby with a magic bag." Kenn Viselman of Itsy-Bitsy Entertainment, who distributed the show in the USA, commented, "He's not gay. He's not straight. He's just a character in a children's series."[13]

In May 2007, Polish Ombudsman for Children Ewa Sowińska revisited the matter and planned to order an investigation.[14] She said in the 28 May 2007 edition of Wprost that the handbag-carrying Tinky Winky could promote homosexuality. Journalists from Wprost mentioned claims that the Teletubbies promote homosexuality, to which Sowińska replied that she had heard of the issue. The journalists then asked about Tinky Winky. "I noticed that he has a woman's handbag, but I didn't realize he's a boy," Sowińska told the magazine in an interview that her office approved before publication, adding, "Later I learned that there could be some hidden homosexual undertones." Sowińska said she would ask her office's psychologists to look into the allegations, "and judge whether it can be shown on public television and whether the suggested problem really exists."

But on 30 May 2007, Sowińska said in a public statement that she no longer suspected the Teletubbies of promoting homosexuality. She said: "The opinion of a leading sexologist, who maintains that this series has no negative effects on a child's psychology, is perfectly credible. As a result, I have decided that it is no longer necessary to seek the opinion of other psychologists."[15]

Despite the objections, the Independent on Sundays editors included Tinky Winky as the only fictional character in the 2008 inaugural "Happy List", alongside 99 real-life adults recognized for making Britain a better and happier place.[16]

Teletubby doll incidents

In an unrelated incident, reported in 2000, a girl's Tinky Winky Talk Together toy from Golden Bear reportedly said: "I got a gun!" Kenn Viselman claimed the toy actually said "Again, again!" a catchphrase from the show.[1] In a similar incident in 1998, a girl's talking Po doll from Playskool was thought to be saying "faggot faggot, faggot faggot, faggot faggot, bite my butt/bum", as well as "fatty, fatty." The toy was recalled and it was revealed to have said "fidit, fidit, and mon, mon" inspired by the Cantonese word for "faster, faster, and slower, slower". [2]


  • The noise that Tinky Winky's behind makes was recycled from the Disney show Goof Troop.
  • The noise that Tinky Winky's behind makes is reused from one of Mr. Rude's fart sound effects from The Mr. Men Show.
  • His new series actor, Jeremiah Krage, also played Zak in ZingZillas, a another CBeebies Show, Nick Chee Ping Kellington (Dipsy's new series actor) and Rachelle Beinart (Po's new series actress) also played Tang (Nick) and Drum (Rachelle), respectively in said series.
  • Tinky Winky is taller than Barney and Big Bird in reality as he's nearly 10 feet tall whilst Big Bird and Barney are 8 feet tall.
  • During the Tubby Bye Bye sequence, Tinky Winky ALWAYS pronounces "Bye-bye" as "Buh-bye!" Same applies with Dipsy (original series only)
  • If you listen carefully, there are many instances where Tinky Winky is heard with a heavy American accent, most notably when Mark Heenahan voiced him in the original series. This also applies to how he sounds in the new series where Jeremiah Krage tends to bring out the American accent into the character.
  • Tinky Winky's voice is deeper than all the other Teletubbies.

See also


Original series

Reboot series

Teletubbies Everywhere

Behind the Scenes