Icons of England
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692 of 1157 nominations



Is this an icon?



…say ‘eh-oh!’ — and so did millions of viewers, old and young, as this show aimed at pre-nursery children became an unlikely hit when it was launched by the BBC in 1997. Set in Teletubby Land (actually a farmer’s field in Stratford-upon-Avon), the delightfully innocent and joyful series featured the adventures of Laa-Laa, Dipsy, Tinky-Winky and Po. The four brightly coloured creatures, surrounded by rabbits and watched over by a child’s face in the sun, played simple games, ate Tubby Tustard and and watched real-life children play on TV screens installed in their TeleTummies.

Created by Anne Wood and Andy Davenport, the series was the result of watching how children play, but it also drew on influences from The Clangers to NASA astronauts. Incredibly, the series became a target of right-wing American preacher Jerry Falwell, who said that it was not a good role model for children, because Tinky Winky was gay — a conclusion reached by virtue of the fact that the little creature was purple and carried a handbag.

Photo: Copyright and trademark Ragdoll 1996


Your comments

They are polite and charming and have an eccentricity that is quintessentially English. These creatures are inventive, are obsessed with sleeping and eating and the weather, they have a marvellous sense of humour, can laugh at themselves and above all are nature lovers.

Chris Gunter

I really don?t like these stupid guys. It would be a shame for England to become an icon.



I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye