The actor who portrayed Tinky Winky on ‘Teletubbies’ has died

RIP

The actor who portrayed Tinky Winky on beloved children’s show Teletubbies has died at the age of 52.

Simon Shelton Barnes portrayed the character for 14 episodes between 1998-2001 after the firing of original actor Dave Thompson in 1997.

Mr Barnes lived in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, and had trained as a ballet dancer and choreographer before taking up the role on the iconic BBC show.

His cause of death is yet to be revealed, but a series of tributes from friends and family have been released in the wake of his passing.

“I love you so much Dad… always have, always will. The most beautiful man in the world”, his daughter wrote on Facebook.

Simon Shelton Barnes has died

Another tribute came from Paul McCartney’s brother Mike McGear, a second cousin of Barnes’ former wife Emma.

“So sad to hear about Si. He was a luvly lad..and will be dancing along Uncle Bills bar, knocking Mum&Dad, Milly&Ginny, Mike &Betts drinks off, as we talk! Luv to U & kids from me & mine X”, he wrote.

Barnes previously opened up on his time in the show, and claimed the popularity of the role was “a bit like the Beatles or Take That of television”.

The Teletubbies first aired between March 1997 and February 2001, before it returned for an ongoing revival from November 2015.