Tinky Winky Actor’s Tragic Cause Of Death Released

by : Julia Banim on : 06 Apr 2018 12:27
tinky winky simon shelton teletubbies cbbc pinewood studiostinky winky simon shelton teletubbies cbbc pinewood studiosPinewood Studios

The tragic reason behind the death of Tinky Winky actor Simon Shelton has been revealed.


The 52-year-old actor, who was best known for playing Tinky Winky in CBBC favourite of many Teletubbies, collapsed in Liverpool in January before freezing to death.

An inquest has found the beloved children’s show star and father of three died from hypothermia, with his cause of death being recorded as ‘misadventure’.

It is believed the freezing temperatures and the ‘high concentration of alcohol’ in his body led to his death. It has been reported Simon suffered from problems with alcohol.


Coroner Anita Bhardwaj concluded:

Simon Barnes was 52 with a medical history of alcohol dependence.

On 17 January at 7.15am, Simon was found deceased at the Port of Liverpool Building in a well between the building and street.

Toxicological analysis found a high concentration of alcohol.

The temperature on the day was three degrees and it is more likely than not the combination of the alcohol consumed and the temperature caused his death.

Find out more about the actors from the popular television show below in what was their first ever interview:

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Last month, Simon’s funeral took place and is said to have been a joyous celebration of his life; reflecting the happiness he brought to so many children.

The actors who starred alongside Simon in Tellytubbies were present, with Benidorm star Ted Robbins keeping mourners laughing on the sad day.

A source told The Mirror:


Ted had people in stitches at the crem when he told how an Irish man asked a mason to carve ‘God, she is thine’ on his wife’s gravestone.

But later on inspecting it, to his horror he discovered it read, ‘God, she is thin’. So he pointed this out, saying, ‘You’ve missed off the E’. The mason apologised, and promised to fix it.

But when he went back the following day, it said ‘E, God, she is thin.’

Trained in ballet dancing and choreography, Simon took up the role of Tinky Winky after Dave Thompson was fired from the role after a year.

Simon would continue to play Tinky Winky until 2001, when the first run of the show ended.

Tinky Winky was the only fictional character in the Independent on Sunday’s 2008 ‘Happy List,’ with the character regarded as helping to make Britain happier.

A surprise hit for the BBC, one billion children in over 120 countries tuned in to watch the Teletubbies, which was broadcast in 45 languages.

Teletubbies creator Andrew Davenport sent the following message to Simon’s family, according to The Mirror:

Simon was an extraordinary performer and a wonderful person.

[He] balanced it all brilliantly, meeting all the madness with his usual incredulous smile, disarming warmth and infectious humour. He was an incredible steadying influence in those crazy times.

He brought a singular joy to Tinky Winky, and to all of us. Thank you Simon for all those happy times. With love, Andy.

Our thoughts are with the family of Simon Shelton at this difficult time.


If you want to discuss any issues relating to alcohol in confidence contact Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 for advice and support.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Film and TV


The Mirror and 1 other
  1. The Mirror

    Teletubbies' Tinky Winky actor Simon Shelton killed by 'high concentration of alcohol' and hypothermia, inquest rules

  2. Teletubbies Wiki

    Tinky Winky