Page last updated at 11:49 GMT, Monday, 5 January 2009

BBC acts over light-skinned doll

Upsy Daisy as she appears in the show (left) and in doll form (right)
The doll (right) differs from how Upsy Daisy appears in the show (left)

The BBC is to replace a doll based on the Upsy Daisy character from CBeebies TV show In the Night Garden following complaints it is too light-skinned.

A BBC Worldwide spokesman said it had conducted research after getting "a handful" of complaints that the doll had lighter skin than the TV character.

The BBC would now bring out a version with "a darker skin tone", he said.

Manufacturer Hasbro has been asked to create a different version that will appear in stores from Easter onwards.

The BBC Worldwide spokesman denied newspaper reports the doll had been recalled from stores.

"We are not withdrawing the old doll because most people are happy with it," he told the BBC News website.

'Happy and optimistic'

In the Night Garden - the brainchild of Teletubbies co-creators Anne Wood and Andy Davenport - is one of the UK's most successful children's programmes.

Launched on digital channel CBeebies in 2007, the show features a mix of actors in costumes, puppets and computer animation.

The spokesman said the doll was lighter in colour because it was based on the animated version of the Upsy Daisy character rather than the version that appears in the live-action sections.

The characters are toys, not representations of people
Ragdoll Productions

Ragdoll Productions, the company behind the show, said the character had not been "intended to represent a specific race or culture".

"The characters are toys, not representations of people," it added.

"The culture they collectively embody is unique to the garden setting in which they live."

According to the CBeebies website, Upsy Daisy is "generally a happy and optimistic character".

"She loves to dance regardless of the occasion and has her own special bed that has a mind of its own," it adds.

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