Teletubbies Scene Was So Creepy The Episode Was Banned

Teletubbies banned episode.
Credit: BBC

Teletubbies is a core memory in many of our childhoods, from its iconic characters to scenes that had children all across the globe fixed, however, one episode was actually banned.

The iconic children’s TV show aired in the UK from 1997 to 2018 and it won multiple BAFTA awards and was also nominated for two Daytime Emmys throughout its run.

However, there was one episode that left many viewers unsettled, with some even calling it creepy.

It faced widespread backlash and was even banned across the world.

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During the first series of Teletubbies, an episode titled ‘The Lion and The Bear’ was broadcasted.

Intended for children aged one to four years old, the episode contained several scenes that were considered too distressing for its young audience.

As a result, the BBC censored the episode, and it was eventually banned entirely across the US.

At the time, the Teletubbies episode was labelled ‘the greatest horror show of all time’. Credit: BBC

At the time, it was even nicknamed ‘the greatest horror show of all time’, as a number of viewers found its content deeply unsettling.

Concerns were raised about the eerie background music accompanying certain scenes, which eventually led to discussions about the episode’s suitability for younger viewers.

The cause of the uproar did not lie with the Teletubbies themselves, but rather with two cardboard characters introduced for those particular scenes – unsurprisingly, a lion and a bear.

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In the episode, the beloved Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po, known for their vibrant colours, appear visibly concerned as a brown bear entered their enchanted garden.

The bear’s haunting words echoed, declaring: ‘I’m the bear, I’m the bear, and I’m coming.’

The unsettling atmosphere intensified as the bear rolled about in the grass, only to be unexpectedly joined by a lion.

Teletubbies compilation
A Teletubbies reboot hit Netflix last year. Credit: BBC

“I am the scary lion, with big scary teeth,” the new addition said. “I’m scary on the top and I’m underneath.”

During the episode, Laa-Laa urged the other Teletubbies to ‘hide’.

In 2001, the scene underwent significant edits to eliminate the majority of its scary elements, as per MailOnline.

The BBC decided to alter the bear’s voice, making it much less intimidating. Additionally, the accompanying music was modified to create a more lighthearted atmosphere.

The episode was unearthed months after it was confirmed the Teletubbies would be returning to our screens in a Netflix reboot.

The beloved kids’ show returned to the streaming service last year, narrated by actor Tituss Burgess.

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Written by Ryan Wilks

Ryan is a former content editor at IGV who specialises in celebrity and entertainment news. He has a degree in Magazine Journalism and Production from the University of Gloucestershire. He previously worked as a social media editor for Reach PLC’s national brands including Daily Star, Daily Express, OK! and The Mirror.