Detectorists actor Mackenzie Crook playing the iconic scarecrow with India Brown and Thierry Wickens as children Susan and John. The new Worzel Gummidge also features 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 to be shown on BBC1 this Christmas on Boxing Day – it’s now been confirmed – with Mackenzie Crook taking on the role of the loveable scarecrow made famous by Jon Pertwee in the classic ITV series.
And it’s also been revealed that comedy legend Michael Palin, Harry Potter actress Zoe Wanamaker, Benidrom’s Steve Pemberton, and Getting On’s Vicki Pepperdine are also starring.
The BBC has released first look snaps of Mackenzie as Worzel and revealed that there will be two one-hour films, the first on Boxing Day at 6.20pm and the second on Friday 27th December at 7pm.
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”.
Which characters do Michael Palin and Zoe Wanamaker play in the new Worzel Gummidge?
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.
Speaking about the new Worzel Gummidge, My Family and Harry Potter star Zoe says: “The whole thing is so charming and inventive. It’s the sort of thing I’d watch. I’m sure it will be a huge success. I know it will – it’s divine.”
Who plays Aunt Sally in the new Worzel Gummidge?
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.
When is the new Worzel Gummidge on BBC1?
Worzel Gummidge is one of the gems of the Christmas TV schedule. The BBC has now confirmed it will begin on Boxing Day!
What time will Worzel Gummidge be on Boxing Day?
Worzel Gummidge: The Scarecrow of Scatterbrook will begin at 6.20pm on Boxing Day.
When will the second story, Worzel Gummidge – The Green Man be show?
Friday 27th December at 7pm.
We will update this story soon with interview quotes!