Antiques Roadshow guest blown away with value of Teletubbies drawings

Antiques Roadshow: Expert values a Dickin Medal

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Antiques Roadshow Toys and Childhood Christmas special aired on Thursday evening and was presented by Fiona Bruce. During the festive instalment of the BBC One programme, guests presented experts with some of the best-loved toys of the past century. During the episode, a guest showed Mark Hill her collection of Teletubbies drawings which was worth a staggering amount of money. 

The episode was filmed at Roadshow events across the summer and on location at the Museum of the Home in London.

Mark was handed a remarkable archive of design drawings and concept art for the children’s television series Teletubbies.

The Teletubbies, named Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Lala and Po, first appeared on screens in 1997. 

The series became a commercial success around the world and won multiple BAFTA awards. 

The sketches gave Mark a glimpse into the imagination of artist Jonathan Hills, who died in 2020 aged 66.

He noted: “We are looking at drawings which look like the Teletubbies but there is a slight difference in some of them. 

“They are original drawings – how on earth did you come to get these?”

She explained her husband was asked to develop some characters for a programme which was being made for children.

“Jonathan sadly died two years ago and this is his legacy,” she emotionally explained. 

Mark said it was an amazing legacy and something which has touched childhoods across the entire planet. 

“Literally hundreds of millions of children saw his work and what we are looking at here is the very start of the Teletubbies,” he added. 

She said the characters started off looking like mice, but they later changed in appearance. 

She revealed they were initially called the Teleteddies before bosses agreed on the name Teletubbies. 

Mark later admitted he found the sun in the Teletubbies, which is a toddler’s face, “creepy”, however his guest insisted children “loved it”. 

“They loved it as they saw themselves in the sun,” she explained. 

Mark believed children who watched the Teletubbies in the late 1990s would want to buy the drawings when they are in their 40s. 

“What would you pay for an original Teletubbies drawing?” Mark asked his guest. 

He thought each piece would be worth about £1,000, with some more detailed drawings being £2,000. 

When the guest revealed she had about 80 drawings, Mark said the collection, on average, would be worth a whopping £80,000. 

She replied: “Yes, that’s a lot. [Jonathan] would be so thrilled – that’s great.” 

Antiques Roadshow episodes are available to watch on BBC iPlayer. 

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