I WAS waiting to meet Martin Ronan, the long term executive producer and manager of Limelight Productions, when four large, cute teletubbies walked past and took my picture.

The company is presenting Teletubbies Live, the stage version, at the Palace Theatre, Manchester between November 17 and 19.

The show was launched last Wednesday and, after its Manchester premiere, will tour the UK before heading for the USA next year.

Martin, who was brought up in Rydal Avenue, Sale, and whose mum still lives there, first learnt about acting at BTH School, Altrincham before moving to London after completing an acting course at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Limelight, where Martin has worked for 18 years, started doing pre-school shows 10 years ago. "We especially enjoy seeing how young children respond to the theatre,” he said.

His wife, Sarah, a nurse, and three-year-old twins, Elizabeth and Charlotte will see the show.

“They know I’m involved and are very excited,” he said.

“The set will replicate the vibrant and colourful TV set."

The one hour stage version has specially commissioned original music.

“ We encourage the children to dance and move around.”

How did he choose actors to play Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po?

“Height is important,” he said. “They must be the right height. They must also be robust to do 10 – 12 shows a week. A strong character and physical strength is important, too.”

Martin was pleased the launch was in Manchester. “The Palace Theatre is one of the premium venues in the country. Manchester has a fantastic theatre scene as well as being my home town.

“Teletubbies has lasted for 20 years because its big themes are about communication, physical development and emotional development which were important then and are still important.”

* Tickets, on sale now, from 0844 871 3019 or from atgtickets.com.