BBC has ordered 60 new episodes of the much-loved kids' TV show
Teletubbies creator Anne Wood has admitted she isn’t fully behind the BBC’s revival of her iconic kids’ TV show – and won’t be tuning in to watch it.
Created by Wood and Andrew Davenport, Teletubbies debuted in 1997 and quickly built up a fan base far beyond the pre-school children at which it was aimed. A spin-off single, ‘Teletubbies Say “Eh-Oh!”‘, became a million-selling Number One hit later that year.
Teletubbies originally ran for 365 episodes until 2001, but last June (2014) the BBC announced that it had ordered 60 new episodes to air on its CBeebies channel later this year (2015). Wood and Davenport, who no longer own the rights to the show, have not been involved.
“I’m a bit sad,” Wood said of the new episodes in an interview with the Radio Times. “It comes down to the times we’re in: people feel safer remaking hits of the past rather than investing in something new. There are such a lot of programmes being remade and I just feel the children’s television industry is worth more than that. It would be nice if more encouragement was given to new work.”
Asked if she will be watching the new episodes, Wood replied: “I couldn’t bring myself to. I have nothing against them, it might be brilliant. They tell me they’ve got the best producer possible on it, so that’s a good sign. But how could I watch it? All my programmes are like my children. It’s like seeing a child remade in somebody else’s image. So good luck to them.”
In addition to Teletubbies, Wood has served as a producer on numerous popular kids’ TV shows over the years including Tots TV and Rosie And Jim. Her new show Twirlywoos, billed as a “situation comedy for three to four-year-olds”, begins on CBeebies later this month (February).