Free Teletubbies party was a 'shambles' say parents

2,000 families queued for hours in the Manchester rain for underwhelming experience

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Parents who queued for hours in the rain for a free Teletubbies event blasted it as a "shambles".

An estimated 2,000 families turned out for the event at Manchester's Palace Theatre and organisers admitted they had been "overwhelmed".

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It was billed as a two-hour party where children could meet and have their photos taken with Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po, have their faces painted and enjoy some cupcakes and babycinos.

But some parents claimed 'there was no party' and after queuing for up to two hours to see the characters they were given a cake and ushered out.

Organisers say they were 'overwhelmed' by the response and did what they could to make sure that all children got to meet and have their photos taken with the Teletubbies.

Parents complain about teletubbies event

Parents complained they didn't have time to take a proper picture

They say they 'weren't anticipating' the number that turned out - around 2,000 in all - and did run out of goody bags before the end of the event.

Claire Graham, 26, from Brooklands, took her two-year-old twins Mia and Jenson.

She told the Manchester Evening News: "I went with my twins and three of my friends with their children.

"The set up was absolutely ridiculous. We queued for an hour-and-a-half in the rain to get a blurry picture and then were basically kicked out.

"There were no face paints or party bags as stated. We had five very disappointed and upset children who weren't even allowed to touch Laa Laa and Po. We weren't impressed at all."

Credits: MEN WS

Parents queued for up to two hours in the rain

Helen Andrews, from Tameside, took her two-year-old son Alfie and says they arrived at 9.40am but didn't get in for another hour. They came away with nothing more than a blurry photo of half a Teletubby and the back of Alfie's head.

She said: "We waited in the pouring rain and were soaked through.

"Once we did get inside, what I and tons more thought was going to be a party turned out to be just the foyer open with two face painting stalls and two balloon modelling people.

"Then all I saw was two of the Teletubbies. You got rushed through the door and got told to hurry up and keep moving when kids were trying to see the Teletubbies."

Parents complain about teletubbies event

Claire Graham, 26, took her two-year-old twins Mia and Jenson

"You then had to queue to have photo with the two and the photographer was rude and didn't even wait for you to look, then that was it. You were in there for about 10 minutes.

"We didn't get any goody bag. It was no party."

The event was planned to celebrate tickets going on sale for the Teletubbies' first ever UK stage tour which will have its world premiere in Manchester in November.

Other parents have vented their anger on the Palace Theatre's own Facebook page.

A spokeswoman for the show said: "We were overwhelmed by the response and we apologise to those who had to wait so long in the rain.

"To ensure that everyone who queued had the opportunity to meet the Teletubbies and have their photo taken with them we had to limit the amount of time each child could spend with them.

"Despite the long wait we were able to ensure that everyone in the queue was able to meet them and have a photograph.

"We were really grateful to everyone who turned up to meet them on such a rainy day and we look forward to seeing them again at the show in November.

"As well as the opportunity to meet the Teletubbies we had free coffee, cupcakes, balloon modelling, face painting and goody bags for those who attended."

She said that the photos taken at today's event can be found on the the Teletubbies Live Facebook page.

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