Tinky Winky actor dies aged 52

The Dad-of-three Simon Shelton Barnes died just four days after his 52nd birthday.

He lived in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, and had trained as a ballet dancer and choreographer.

He once said being in the Teletubbies was "a bit like the Beatles or Take That of television".

Tributes poured in for the man behind the handbag-carrying character after news of his death broke.

His daughter posted a heartbroken message to Facebook on January 21.


She wrote: "I love you so much Dad... always have, always will. The most beautiful man in the world."

Paul McCartney's brother, Mike Gear, also paid tribute to the actor.

The second cousin of Simon's former wife, Emma, wrote he was "a luvly lad".

Simon’s son Henry wrote: “I lost my lovely dad on Wednesday, he was the kindest and most gentle man I knew and I love him more than anything!!!!
"I always used to be embarrassed as a child that he was a dancer and an actor but now I couldn’t be more proud! He is in a better place now and I know he wouldn’t want me to be sad, so I’m going to live my life the way he would want me to.”

His niece posted a black and white picture of Simon on Instagram and wrote: "My wonderful uncle Simon Barnes has been taken away from us all so suddenly.

"The kindest and most talented man you could ever wish to meet.

"Loved by all who knew him and will be forever."

Mourners have been asked to wear bright colours to his funeral on February 7.

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