Detectorists actor Mackenzie Crook playing the iconic scarecrow with India Brown and Thierry Wickens as children Susan and John. Joining the cast is comedy legend Michael Palin, Harry Potter actress Zoe Wanamaker, Benidrom's Steve Pemberton and Getting On's Vicki Pepperdine as Aunt Sally!
A new version of Worzel Gummidge is likely to be screened on BBC1 this Christmas, with Mackenzie Crook taking on the role of the loveable scarecrow made famous by Jon Pertwee in the classic ITV series. And it’s now been revealed that comedy legend Michael Palin, Harry Potter actress Zoe Wanamaker, Benidrom’s Steve Pemberton, and Getting On’s Vicki Pepperdine are joining the all-star cast!
The BBC has released first look snaps of Mackenzie as Worzel and revealed that there will be two one-hour films, which are expected to be shown over the festive period.
Writer, director and star Mackenzie said: “I’m thrilled to be back working with the BBC and many members of the Detectorists team to bring Worzel Gummidge to a new generation of viewers and reintroduce him to old friends.
“Adapting Barbara Euphan Todd’s books into these two films has been a joy and I’ve completely fallen for her charming, irreverent scarecrow.”
Teasing the first episode, The Scarecrow of Scatterbrook, the BBC says that the world of two young strangers, Susan and John, is “sent spinning into confusion when they realise Gummidge comes to life. The only person more shocked is Worzel, when he discovers that the children are not in fact fellow scarecrows but humans”.
Michael Palin will appear in the second film as The Green Man, the creator of the scarecrows. “It’s a lovely part for me, but the whole script is very memorable and touching, and very funny too. It quite skillfully weaves in something for everybody all the time,” said Michael.
Zoe Wanamaker will play the eccentric local aristocrat, Lady Bloomsbury Barton in episode two, while Steve Pemberton will play Mr Braithwaite, the farmer.
Vicki Pepperdine, also known for The Windsors, has landed the iconic part of Aunt Sally.”There’s something for everybody. It’s got this heart to it, and you’d be hard pushed as an adult not to engage with it,” she said.
The books were adapted before for the ITV children’s series, which ran from 1979 to 1981. Jon Pertwee, best known for his role as the Third Doctor in Doctor Who, starred as Worzel alongside Sherlock actress Una Stubbs as Aunt Sally.
The gentle series, which was packed with plenty of comedy, also featured EastEnders legend Barbara Windsor as Saucy Nancy, Carry On star Joan Sims as Mrs Bloomsbury-Barton, Geoffrey Bayldon as The Crowman, Four Weddings and A Funeral actress Charlotte Coleman as schoolgirl Sue Peters and ex Emmerdale star Lorraine Chase as Dolly Clothes-Peg.
Worzel Gummidge is set to be one of the gems of the Christmas TV schedule.