'Teletubbies' Creator Speaks Out Against U.K. Kids TV Remakes

"People feel safer remaking hits of the past rather than investing in something new," says Anne Wood, who feels "a bit sad" about the trend.

The creator of kids TV show The Teletubbies said in a magazine interview that she will not watch a reboot of the series for a BBC channel and that she was "a bit sad" about the U.K. trend of remaking classic shows for children.

Anne Wood told Radio Times magazine that she would not watch the new episodes, which are set to air on BBC kids network CBeebies later this year. "I couldn’t bring myself to" watch, she said. "I mean 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 programs are like my children."

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In 2013, Canada's DHX Media acquired Teletubbies owner Ragdoll from BBC Worldwide and an investor group that included Wood.

In Britain, remakes of classic kids shows have made headlines, with ITV set to bring back 1960s marionettes sci-fi hit Thunderbirds, while the BBC has ordered a new version of animated Danger Mouse, which first aired in 1981. The Teletubbies, which became a big international success in the late 1990s, fits into that trend.

Asked about the trend, Wood said: "I’m a bit sad. It comes down to the times we’re in. People feel safer remaking hits of the past rather than investing in something new."

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Added the producer: "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."

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai