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10th May 2019

A comprehensive review of the Teletubbies’ reunion performance on This Morning


Ciara Knight


Our prayers have been answered. The Teletubbies have reunited to provide the world with a rousing nostalgic performance on This Morning.

At long last the gang got back together in a bid to prove that collectively, hopefully, they’ve still very much got it.

Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po reminded us of their staggering dancing and singing capabilities by performing their 1997 number one single ‘Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh!’ live.

It’s an undeniable banger, but some 22 years after its release, can the rainbow squad still hit the high notes and even lower moves?

The verdict is in.

After a brief dialogue-less chat with Phillip and Holly, we have learned two things about the Teletubbies:

  1. They are too curvy to fit together on the specially-extended This Morning couch.
  2. To scale, one Teletubby = 0.5 This Morning presenter.

We then learn that, inevitably, there is no sexy way for four multicoloured creatures to transition from personality being interviewed to dedicated performer, various sex toy headpieces in tow. All four plod their way from the couch to the performance area, making great use of their arms to steady their disproportionately large selves, visibly under pressure to reach their designated spots before the first verse begins.

Tinky Winky’s up first with the solo, confidently announcing his name relatively in time with the beat. It’s been 22 years since the song was at number one (for two weeks) in the charts, so the pressure rests on our purple king to deliver a belter of a opening line. Unfortunately, he fucks it. Tinky Winky is sluggish, his movements are out of sync, his enthusiasm is lacklustre and it’s clear that, as many of us suspected, he’s only there for that fat pay cheque he’ll be slipping into his shiny handbag at the end of the performance, right before catching the tube home.

Dipsy hits the classic slut drop when his name is announced, but with such a luscious dance move, it’s important that the rest of your body is on the same wavelength. While Dipsy’s rotund bottom hits the floor, his arms are saying “Heyyyyyyy I’m 35 minutes late to work but I’ll stay later this evening to make up for it lol jk”, while his face says “FUCK THEY HAVE MINT JUUL PODS BACK IN STOCK”. If you’re going to do a slut drop on This Morning, you’re going to need to get the rest of your body movements to follow suit. Namely, your facial expression.

After the X-rated raunch that just took place, Dipsy brings a bit of class back into proceedings by adopting a cutesy double-hand clasp while announcing her name to the world, just in case any of us had forgotten. She looks well, the 22 years have been good to her, or have they? If you look at Dipsy’s chin, there’s some very clear tell-tale evidence of a botched facelift. The skin has been left with saggy tufts, something the makeup department has clearly struggled to conceal. Still, Dipsy’s youthful charm will long outlast her waning appearance. That’s undeniable.

Everyone’s favourite Teletubby, Po got off to a nervous start, initially failing to find her camera but then expertly getting things back on track with a tender “Po”. Then, for some reason, half a jumping jack was performed by the red legend, signalling that all is not well in camp Po. She’s changed since 1997. The song ‘Teletubbies Say Eh-oh’ has lost a lot of its meaning. Po famously turned into a bit of a recluse after they went to number one. She’s not interested in saying ‘Eh-oh’ anymore. This is a Teletubby in turmoil, she’s the Posh Spice of the Spice Girls reunion. You can practically smell the tension, but her perseverance is honourable.

Once the formalities are out of the way, the Teletubbies engage in a boutt of freestyle dance. Given that their bizarre body shapes aren’t exactly conducive to popular dance moves such as the worm, the floss or even the double dab, the quartet opt for a quick hoedown-inspired swing dance, pairing off into twos. Is it pure coincidence that they’ve gone in order of their names, or is something deeper going on? Has a rift emerged over the past 22 years? Did Po steal Dipsy’s wife? Did Laa Laa send out a crypic tweet about Tinky Winky’s unhealthy fondness for cream cheese? These are no longer the four best friends that they used to be.

Thankfully things get back on track as the Teletubbies engage in their trademark body smash. They’re noticeably slower than they used to be, with the various effects of ageing visible. Although Teletubbies age differently to humans in the sense that they don’t, the same unfortunately can’t be said for their bodies. Years of body smashing has resulted in weak ribs for the gang, meaning they’ve got to be gentler now. Their bones can’t withstand the brutality of the past, nor can their antennas. One wrong move and they’re Tubby toast. In human years, each Teletubby is 65 now. Retirement is looming. This reunion is demanding a lot of them. Much like their receding hairlines, their physical fragility is becoming exposed.

The choreography throughout was expertly rehearsed. The Teletubbies have an exceptional way of making their dance moves seem unrehearsed, but it takes great skill and dedication to pull of a performance with such finesse. With regards to the singing, none of the gang had access to a microphone, so the lip-syncing was always going to be an inevitable flaw in their craft. Still, they had a laugh with it, jokingly failing to mime along in time with the music. It’s been 22 years since they performed this song, a few slip-ups were always going to happen, they’re only not human after all.

As any Teletubbies fan worth their salt knows, audience interaction is a huge part of their repertoire. Appearing on This Morning would be a challenge to any performer, what with its sanitised set, camera-heavy presence and banter-thirsty presenters. The standard audience reaction that the Teletubbies are used to includes screaming babies, bra-throwing teens and many, many furries. They feed off those excitable vibes and always strive make their fans feel loved and satisfied. But when Phillip Schofield sticks a camera in their faces, everything changes. They are no longer the Teletubbies, they are online clout bait, used as pawns in his sadistic game to secure likes, follows and retweets. Tinky Winky, Dipsy and Po seem relatively accustomed to this newfound smartphone phenomenon that wasn’t around in 1997, but Laa Laa is lost. She doesn’t know where to look. Her cold, dead eyes are even colder and more dead than usual.

Thankfully, the gang hit their stride when Phillip and Holly joined their train of misfits. The Teletubbies are at peak performance here, waddling around a live studio environment looking like they’re 5 years old and have just been given their first dose of age-restricted 6+ Calpol because the shop didn’t have anything else. Good on Phillip and Holly for getting involved. Good on the Teletubbies for catering to their audience. Good on the poor souls inside the suits for navigating their way through a busy studio floor looking through a 3cm diameter mesh peephole without causing any casualties. Everyone is having a nice time. This is what the Teletubbies are all about.

Not a moment too soon, the proceedings come to a close. Tinky Winky makes his move on Dipsy and is very clearly rejected. Grand gestures aren’t something the Teletubbies have mastered just yet, a cool 22 years after they first hit our television screens. Phillip and Holly are elated, visibly aware that they’ve just made television history. The Teletubbies haven’t performed this song for over two decades, but with the help of the nation’s giddiest sweethearts, they’ve pulled it off. The Teletubbies are back and they’re not going anywhere. Fuck. This is peak performance in its purest form. It might be hard to look at, but it’s raw and it’s real. The Teletubbies have still got it. Fuck. What a time to be alive.

Images via YouTube