By People Staff
Updated April 20, 1999 12:00 AM
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Critics — and the Teletubby producers themselves — may have scoffed when Rev. Jerry Falwell pointed a finger at Teletubby Tinky Winky and said he was a gay role model, but now it appears Tinky might have been winking at the camera more than was realized. MSNBC gossip columnist Jeannette Walls reports that Dave Thompson, the first actor to play the character, was fired from the British children’s program because producers thought he was playing the role too campy. Thompson, an avowed heterosexual, had picked up a gay following in the U.K. with his swish routine. (He also, according to several published reports, liked to romp about the set naked between scenes and was known as “Kinky Winky.”) The Teletubby producers cited “creative differences” when they fired Thompson two years ago. He reportedly works now as a “nude balloon dancer.”