BBC Releases “First Look” Pic Of Mackenzie Crook In ‘Worzel Gummidge’ Adaptation

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06 Jun 19

BBC Releases “First Look” Pic Of Mackenzie Crook In ‘Worzel Gummidge’ Adaptation

As we announced last year, Mackenzie Crook has been working on a new adaptation of Barbara Euphan Todd’s iconic classic children’s books ‘Worzel Gummidge’. Now, the BBC has released a “first look” image of Crook has the man/scarecrow himself.

This isn’t a new tv series, but two hour-long films, written, directed and starring Crook as Worzel Gummidge. The first 60-minute film, ‘The Scarecrow Of Scatterbrook’, sees two young strangers arrive in the village of Scatterbrook. It’s not long before Susan and John encounter Worzel Gummidge, the Scarecrow of Ten Acre Field. Their world 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.

Their worlds should never commune but fate has conspired to create an extraordinary union. The seasons have stopped and the harvest hasn’t arrived. The rhythm of the natural world is out of kilter and this unlikely trio must try to put it right. Magic, mystery and mayhem unfurl.

The second film, ‘The Green Man’, welcomes another mysterious arrival to Scatterbrook. The Green Man is the creator of scarecrows and keeper of scarecrow lore. He isn’t at all happy that Worzel is consorting with humans. Elsewhere, local aristocrat Lady Bloomsbury Barton is holding a fete, with a Scarecrow competition that Worzel is determined to win. What will Worzel’s most competitive rival, Soggy Bogart, and The Green Man make of it all?

“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,” comments Mackenzie Crook. “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.”

Leopard Pictures, part of Argonon Group, are partnering with Treasure Trove Productions and Lola Entertainment to bring these stories to life for an audience of all ages. The films have been commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning for the BBC, and Charlotte Moore, Director of Content for the BBC.

“Mackenzie’s widely adored and multi-Bafta award-winning Detectorists was a grown-up love letter to bucolic England and with Worzel he takes a similar approach to English folklore, rural rites and the magic of childhood,” adds Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning at the BBC. His visionary and fundamental reinterpretation of this classic is that rare and special achievement – a BBC One family-friendly comedy.”

As those older people amongst you will remember, this isn’t the first time ‘Worzel Gummidge’ has appeared on screen. The previous iteration starred ‘Doctor Who’ actor (and father of Gotham’s Sean Pertwee), Jon Pertwee as the scarecrow that could come to life. That series originally ran on ITV from 1979 to 1981, but was then revived by Channel 4 from 1987 to 1989 for ‘Worzel Gummidge Down Under’ which was set in New Zealand.

No news on when the ‘Worzel Gummidge’ films will premiere yet (although this has Christmas written all over it!), and casting announcements will be made in due course.