New Worzel Gummidge – starring Mackenzie Crook – heading to BBC1 this Christmas

First look of Detectorists actor Mackenzie Crook playing the iconic scarecrow in a 'dazzling, modern adaptation' of the classic books

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.

The BBC has released a first look snap 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. Fingers crossed for a glorious English summer as we head out to Scatterbrook Farm and Worzel’s Ten Acre Field.”

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”.

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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.

Worzel Gummidge

Jon Pertwee and Una Stubbs in the classic ITV series Worzel Gummidge (pic credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

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. Further casting will be announced soon.