Teletubbies actor died from alcohol intoxication and hypothermia, inquest finds

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Simon Barnes, 53, was found dead in Liverpool on January 17.

Simon Barnes played Tinky Winky in the children’s television show Teletubbies (PA)

The actor who played Tinky Winky in children’s TV show Teletubbies died from alcohol intoxication and hypothermia, an inquest has found.

Tinky Winky (Ian West/PA)
Tinky Winky (Ian West/PA)

At an inquest at Liverpool Coroner’s Court, held on March 27, coroner Anita Bhardwaj recorded a conclusion of misadventure.

“On 17 January 2018 at 7.15am Simon was found deceased on the floor at the Port of Liverpool building, Brunswick Street, Liverpool.

“He was located in a well between the building and Brunswick Street.

“Toxicological analysis found the presence of a high concentration of alcohol.

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


Barnes, also known as Simon Shelton, appeared as the purple Teletubby between 1998 and 2001.

In an Instagram post after his death his niece, actress Emily Atack, paid tribute to him.

The Inbetweeners star wrote: “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.”

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