It was reported yesterday that the actor and performer who was best known as Tinky Winky from the Teletubbies has sadly passed away, aged just 52. Simon Shelton Barnes had recently celebrated his 52nd birthday and his family and friends have come forward, confirming that he died last Wednesday.
Simon Shelton Barnes’ body was found at 7:30am on the 17th of January. It has been suggested that he is believed to have died from hypothermia.
It has been reported that his death is not being treated as suspicious and there are records of a neighbour claiming, ‘We don’t know many details, but we understand he collapsed in the street and possibly died of hypothermia.’
Very sad to hear that actor Simon Shelton, who played Tinky Winky in the late 90’s, has sadly passed away. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Big hugs. pic.twitter.com/nBofxSYFLd
— Teletubbies (@TeletubbiesHQ) January 23, 2018
A Merseyside Police spokesman has also stated, ‘We have confirmed some details about the death of Simon Shelton Barnes.
‘We were called to the Mann Island area of Liverpool on January 17 at about 7.30 in the morning to reports of a man being found deceased.
‘There are no suspicious circumstances so anything else around this tragedy we are referring to the coroners.’
Simon Shelton Barnes played his iconic role as Tinky Winky in 14 episodes of the Teletubbies between the years of 1998 and 2001 after the show’s original actor, David Thompson, left the show in 1997.
During an interview with Shelton Barnes regarding his time working for the show he described his role in the Teletubbies as being a rock star for children,
‘I started my career as a ballet dancer and had just started working as a choreographer. I thought it was a bit of a risky move, but it certainly paid off.
“We used to receive a lot of fan mail from kids and parents. I suppose we were a bit like the Beatles or the Take That of children’s television.’
Shelton Barnes’ niece, Emily Atack, best known for her role in The Inbetweeners, posted on her Instagram, ‘My wonderful uncle Simon Barnes has been taken 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. X.’
Simon’s son, Henry also posted a tribute to his late father on Facebook,
‘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.’