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Last Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008, 21:48 GMT
Robot suit 'hurt TV show actor'
Isaac Blake
Isaac Blake is representing himself at the hearing
An actor who worked inside a robotic suit for a top children's television programme has taken the production company to an employment tribunal.

Isaac Blake, 28, from Cardiff, played one of the Tombliboos in the BBC show, In The Night Garden made by Ragdoll Productions, based in Warwickshire.

Mr Blake told the tribunal in Birmingham he was injured because of faulty equipment.

Ragdoll, which also created the Teletubbies, deny the allegations.

Mr Blake, who is representing himself in the hearing, is also alleging he suffered abuse and was unfairly dismissed.

He said the animatronic suit he had to work in was part robot and part puppet.

Pelvic injury

He said the suit covered him totally and he was dependent on cameras to be able to see what he was doing.

He claimed that when those cameras failed for several weeks, he told the company he was unable to see anything.

Mr Blake played one of the Tombliboos in the series

Mr Blake told the hearing that Ragdoll intimidated him and forced him to continue with his performance, until he fell and was taken to hospital.

In another incident he said he suffered a pelvic injury after being asked to bend over while wearing the suit.

He told how he had been being signed off work by doctors with injuries and was then sacked by the company.

Mr Blake told the tribunal he believed he had been unfairly dismissed.

He also told the hearing that a colleague called him a "bitch" and a "faggot", but was ignored when he complained.

A legal representative for Ragdoll, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, told the tribunal that no other performers had ever witnessed intimidation and none had been forced to keep performing if they felt unsafe.

The tribunal continues.

Mr Blake says he was subjected to homophobic abuse

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