Wednesday 16 January 2019

Children’s favourite Worzel Gummidge is making a comeback after 23 years

The Detectorists star Mackenzie Crook has been writing a new adaptation, which has been picked up by the BBC.

John Pertwee as Worzel Gummidge
John Pertwee as Worzel Gummidge
Jon Pertwee as Worzel Gummidge (PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Worzel Gummidge could be returning to the small screen, with Mackenzie Crook starring in the lead role.

The Detectorists star, 46, has been writing a new adaptation, which is in its early stages and has been picked up by the BBC.

The show is not a reboot of the original TV series, but a contemporary adaptation of the books by English novelist Barbara Euphan Todd.                   

The character, a talking scarecrow, was famously played by Doctor Who actor Jon Pertwee in the 1980s.

Mackenzie Crook (Ian West/PA)
Mackenzie Crook (Ian West/PA)

Crook’s spokesman confirmed to the Press Association: “Mackenzie Crook is currently in the very early stages of developing a contemporary adaptation of Barbara Euphan Todd’s original Worzel Gummidge books as a new TV series for the BBC.”

A source told the Sun: “Mackenzie has been working on this for some time.”

The scarecrow character famously had interchangeable heads, including a turnip and swede.

Pertwee once said of his alter-ego: “He says and does the things that all of us would like to do, but are too shy, self-conscious and respectful to.

“Being rude to those in authority, being selfish … there is something of Worzel in all of us.”

Pertwee played the role from 1979 to 1981 on ITV.

The show returned six years later in a New Zealand co-production, also starring Pertwee, with Channel 4.

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