A comedy funeral held in honour of Tinky Winky Actor Simon Shelton Barnes

Posted: 07/03/2018

The Teletubbies enjoyed mass success when it graced British television on the BBC in 1997 right up to the last episode of the original series which was aired in 2001. As of 2015, a new series of The Teletubbies is back on BBC One and is truly as iconic as ever.

The TV show follows four characters who go by the names of Tinky Winky, famed for his red handbag, Dipsy, who sported a top hat, Lala, who played with a giant yellow inflatable ball and finally, Po, who sped around on her scooter – envied by the children of the Teletubbies era.

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Unfortunately, the actor who played the much loved Tinky Winky has recently passed away. Simon Shelton Barnes froze to death at the age of 52 following a night out in Liverpool in January 2018.

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A Comedy Funeral

Actor Ted Robbins led the mourners at the comedy-themed funeral held in honour of Barnes just two weeks after his death. The guests gathered in bright colours to partake in a celebration of Barnes’ life. The funeral service was designed to be a joyous occasion to reflect the personality of the deceased, rather than a sombre one.  The family were fixated on the funeral paying homage to his larger than life personality and it not being an occasion to cry and be sad. Laughter was the source of his life and it was to be in death as well.

Amongst the guests were Simon’s first wife Emma Robbins, his Inbetweeners star niece Emily Atac and of course, his Poldark star brother in law Robert Daws and of course, his fellow Teletubbies co-stars. Reports from the funeral explain that the service was filled with laughter thanks to those who spoke about their friend, Simon. On this, A source provides the information that: “Ted had people in stitches at the crematorium when he told how an Irish man asked a mason to carve ‘God, she is thine’ on his wife’s gravestone. But later on inspecting it, to his horror he discovered it read, ‘God, she is thin’. So he pointed this out, saying, ‘You’ve missed off the E’. The Mason apologised and promised to fix it. But when he went back the following day, it said ‘E, God, she is thin’.”

The creator of the Teletubbies, Andrew Davenport, sent a message to the family of Simon stating that “He brought a singular joy to Tinky Winky, and to all of us. Thank you, Simon, for all those happy times.”

After the funeral ‘celebrations’, Simon’s daughter named Lydia posted on her Facebook Page “Yesterday we said goodbye to our beautiful dad. It was extremely sad but what an incredible celebration and one of the best parties we’ve had! I know he was looking down having a drink and a dance too. Thank you all so much for coming to celebrate his amazing life. What a turn out! Love you so much dad”.

More comedy funerals in the future?

Times are changing are far more people are expressing an interest in having a funeral which celebrates life, rather than mourns death. This type of thing is no longer just for celebrities.

As traditional begins to fade for funerals in secular Britain, people are starting to play by their own rules. Ditching the black attire for a more relaxed get-up or dressing in the favourite colour held by the deceased, incorporating comedy into eulogy’s and speeches and themed funerals are taking place more and more – all at the wished of the person who has passed away.

Could we be seeing a rise in light-hearted, comedy funerals in the future? Could it eventually become the norm to approach what was once a sombre occasion in such a way? At the end of the day, the way the funeral is conducted is down to the deceased, failing that, the very close family members.

It goes without saying, however, no matter what type of funeral you have, the price in on the rise. In order to avoid this, you could opt for a prepaid funeral plan. This essentially freezes the price of today’s funeral.