Teletubbies creator honoured with university doctorate

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THE woman who created children’s programmes such as Teletubbies, and Rosie and Jim is to be honoured by the University of Warwick.

Anne Wood, founder of Stratford-based Ragdoll Productions, is to receive the title Hon DLitt — Honorary Doctor of Letters — during the university’s winter degree ceremonies which will run from 18th to 20th January.

The former teacher set up Ragdoll back in 1984 from her home in Birmingham, with the company found its ay to an office in Ely Street, Stratford, in 1992, before moving to Timothy’s Bridge Road in 2005. The company also had a shop on Chapel Street.

In that time the company has produced more than 1,500 programmes aimed at the youngest viewers, many of which have a close association with Warwickshire and the Midlands having being filmed there.

In 2008 the company won the BAFTA Children’s Award. She had previously adapted Jean Kenwood’s Ragdolly Anna for television and produced an English version of the Moomins for ITV, before being invited to create a children’s department for then commercial newcomer, TV-AM in 1981, from where she commissioned the anarchical character, Roland Rat.

DHX Media acquired Ragdoll Worldwide, a joint venture between Ragdoll and BBC Worldwide, in 2013 and now owns the brand copyright for Ragdoll programmes, including Teletubbies and In the Night Garden.

Anne and her son, Christopher, continue to manage and operate their own company, Ragdoll Productions, and have developed a number of projects, including Twirlywoos, which won the Best Animation/Puppetry Award in 2015 and the Best Children’s Pre-School Award in 2016 at the annual Royal Television Society North-West Awards.

Anne is also a Fellow of the Royal Television Society and in 2000 received a Special BAFTA for her outstanding contribution to children’s television and received her CBE for services to Children’s Broadcasting.

Others to be honoured by the university later this month include US historian and author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Professor Jill Lepore, and former director general of MI5, Dame Stella Rimington.

*There were some errors in this story when it was first published on 30th December, 2016. They have since been corrected.