Sandsone Press Logo

On The Blog

Nikky Smedley answers fan questions

Last night, the delightful Nikky Smedley, better known as Laa-Laa from the Teletubbies hosted an AMA, answering fan questions about her career across children’s TV. Here are some of our favourite bits!

User Sweaty-Data-40 asked, ‘How was your experience on the show? Did you and the other cast members have a good relationship?’

Nikky: ‘I loved being part of the show - we really were a big happy family. About 44 of us in a field working together to make children smile. I’m really proud of the fact that over six years we four Teletubbies never had a major falling out. I’m still good friends with lots of people from the crew and John Simmit (Dipsy) and I are still in regular contact.’

User Kaisietoo8 asked, ‘Why did you decide to audition for Teletubbies and can you remember what the audition process was like?’

Nikky: ‘I was a dancer and was getting old, and fed up of being poor, so I was looking for a new direction and answered an ad in the trade press. The audition process was very long, but I remember the first audition very clearly. I talk about it in the book because it was such an important moment in my life. I dressed as a giant table and sang a little song about being in love with a chair! I went for my first audition in October and was offered the job just before Christmas.’

User childshMan-He-Bro asked, ‘What was the worst thing that happened while filming?’

Nikky: ‘The weather was a constant variable because we really were outside in an actual Teletubbyland rather than CGI. One year we had torrential rain and the dome flooded!’

User merrileem asked, ‘My autistic child learned to talk because of your show. Eternally grateful. Have you heard other stories of children helped by the show?’

Nikky: ‘That's lovely to hear! It was a wonderful surprise to us that Tubbies seemed to resonate so powerfully with children on the autistic spectrum and it led to a long-lived relationship between Ragdoll (the production company) and several autism charities. Later when I was working in SEN schools (Special Education Needs), I found a lot of older children maintained a close relationship with Teletubbies, finding it a comfort as they tried to deal with puberty, for example.’

User clipperdouglas29 asked, ‘You ever fight that sun baby?’

Nikky: ‘Teletubbies are lovers not fighters!’

Some questions and answers have been edited for clarity and length. To read all the questions and answers in full, visit the AMA page on Reddit.

Nikky Smedley

Nikky Smedley