BBC bosses have demanded that Teletubbies star Tinky Winky hand back half the wages ever paid over the course of the show after she came out as transgender.

Media spokesman for the BBC Brian Smith commented, “The BBC has gone to great effort to release details of salaries paid to all our employees.”

“We believe we have achieved complete transparency in our salary scaling and the public can now confidently understand why we pay different stars differing amounts.”

“The pressure on the BBC to use licence-payers’ money wisely is greater than ever, and recent scrutiny has led us to reassess the wage bills of certain individuals.”

“The public can be reassured that there’s absolutely no way we would have paid Tinky Winky as much money if we’d known she was a woman.”

This is not the first time the character has been at the centre of LGBT controversy. Critics of the show alleged in 1999 that Tinky Winky was ‘homosexual propaganda” because the originally male character carried a handbag and had an antenna in the shape of a triangle, the gay pride symbol.

Eight years years later in 2007 the Polish Ombudsman for Children Ewa Sowi?ska reignited the debate when she ordered an investigation into Tinky Winky’s sexuality before the show was allowed on Polish television. She later revised her views after a ‘leading sexologist’ stated that the purple character does not have a negative effect on children.

Mr Smith was careful to distance the BBC from further controversy by pointing out their consultation with Stonewall and the LGBT community over the issue.

He said “I’ve personally learnt a lot through this whole process. For example, apparently if Tinky Winky is a woman now then that probably makes her a lesbian too.”

“Which is excellent news if she is, as I’m pretty sure we pay them even less than normal women.”