Mackenzie Crook to star in new Worzel Gummidge TV show based on Doncaster author's books

Mackenzie Crook will star as much-loved scarecrow Worzel Gummidge in a new BBC adaptation based on the books of a Doncaster author.

Thursday, 6th June 2019, 12:53 pm
Mackenzie Crook as Worzel Gummidge. (Photo: BBC).

The Office and Pirates of the Caribbean star will bring the character – created by Arksey-born Barbara Euphan Todd – back to life in two hour long films which are set to air this Christmas.

The first 60 minute episode, ‘The Scarecrow of Scatterbrook’, sees two young strangers arrive in the village of Scatterbrook, whose world is sent spinning when they realise that the scarecrow Gummidge comes to life.

Mackenzie Crook as Worzel Gummidge. (Photo: BBC).

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However, the scarecrow is equally shocked to fine that the children are not fellow scarecrows but humans.

The second episode, ‘The Green Man’, welcomes another arrival – The Green Man, who is the creator of scarecrows and keeper of scarecrow lore.

Mackenzie Crook, 47, who also wrote and directed the adaptation, said: “I’m thrilled to be back working with the BBC 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.

The books were adapted for four ITV series between 1979 and 1981, starring former Doctor Who Jon Pertwee as Worzel Gummidge and Una Stubbs as Aunt Sally.

Author Todd was born in Arksey in 1890 as the only child of an Anglican vicar, Thomas Todd, and Alice Maud Mary.

She was brought up in the village of Soberton in Hampshire and she published her first Worzel Gummidge book in 1936.

The last book about the scarecrow came in 1963 and she died in 1976 at the age of 86.