Mackenzie Crook to Write, Direct and Star in ‘Worzel Gummidge’ BBC Specials

Mackenzie Crook will write and direct the BBC’s upcoming “Worzel Gummidge” dramas. He will also star as the lead character – a walking, talking scarecrow – in Worzel’s return to British screens in two hour-long specials. They are expected to bow at the end of the year.

Barbara Euphan Todd wrote the Worzel Gummidge books, which were the foundation for a classic British series starring Jon Pertwee in the title role in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Leopard Pictures, part of the Argonon Group, has partnered with Treasure Trove Productions and Lola Entertainment for the new adaptation.

The first episode in the new run, “The Scarecrow of Scatterbrook,” sees two youngsters, Susan and John, encounter Worzel Gummidge, the Scarecrow of Ten Acre Field. Their world is sent spinning into confusion when they realize Gummidge comes to life. The only person more shocked is Worzel when he discovers that the children are not in fact fellow scarecrows.

The second installment, “The Green Man,” sees the creator of scarecrows and keeper of scarecrow lore come to town. He is not happy that Worzel is consorting with humans.

Crook, who starred in “The Office,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Detectorists,” said he was excited to bring “Worzel Gummidge to a new generation of viewers and reintroduce him to old friends.”

As a first-look image of him as Worzel was released, he added: “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.”

“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,” said Shane Allen, the BBC’s controller of comedy.

Kristian Smith will exec produce for Leopard. “There was nobody other than Mackenzie that I wanted to work with on this,” he said. “The vision and creativity of this man is awesome. He has written two beautiful scripts that are clever, warm and funny.”

More TV

  • How Cooking-Travel Shows Are Changing TV

    How Cooking-Travel Shows Are Changing TV

    Toyo hunches over his street food stove, cooking tuna with a blow torch, stopping to light his cigarette with it and produce a cheeky grin. The Japanese chef, who owns a roadside stand in the city of Osaka, is one of many highlighted in the Netflix series “Street Food.” Over the course of 30 minutes, [...]


    SAG-AFTRA Leaders Approve Proposal for New Film-TV Contract

    The SAG-AFTRA national board has approved proposals for a successor deal to its master contract covering feature film and primetime television — a key step in the upcoming negotiations cycle with companies. The board approved the package Saturday with the performers union declining to reveal any specifics — its usual policy. The board established the wages [...]

  • Shannen Doherty'Jennie Garth: A Little Bit

    Shannen Doherty Joins 'Riverdale' Season 4 in Luke Perry Tribute

    “Riverdale” is planning to make a special tribute to Luke Perry. The show’s executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa announced at Comic-Con that Shannen Doherty, Perry’s longtime friend and “Beverly Hills 90210” co-star, will guest star in the season 4 premiere. The tribute episode will “reflect Perry’s enduring legacy and the indelible imprint his character” Fred Andrews [...]

  • Supernatural CW

    'Supernatural' Team Gets Emotional Final Season Sendoff at Comic-Con

    The cast and creative team of “Supernatural” bid a fond farewell to the attendees of San Diego Comic-Con on Sunday. At the show’s final panel in the gargantuan Hall H, the team thanked the fans for all of their support over the years as the series prepares to enter its final season. “I’m trying not [...]

  • Alicia Rodis photographed by Alicia Rodis

    SAG-AFTRA Moves to Standardize Guidelines for Intimacy Coordinators

    SAG-AFTRA is moving to standardize guidelines for intimacy coordinators as part of an effort to establish policies for union members when their work involves nudity and simulated sex. “Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for [...]

  • SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases

    SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases 'The Magicians' Season 5 Clip (Watch)

    In today’s SDCC TV news roundup, Syfy shares a clip from “The Magicians” Season 5, and Amazon sets the Season 4 premiere of “The Expanse.” CASTING Julie Gonzalo and Staz Nair have joined the cast of “Supergirl” for its upcoming fifth season. Gonzalo will portray iconic DC character Andrea Rojas aka Acrata, a polished businesswoman [...]

  • Doom Patrol -- Ep. 101 --

    'Doom Patrol' Renewed, Season 2 to Stream on DC Universe and HBO Max

    “Doom Patrol” has been renewed for a second season and will soon be available outside of DC Universe. At San Diego Comic-Con, series executive producer Jeremy Carver and star Diane Guerrero announced not only that the show will be back for another season but also that it will be available on HBO Max, the upcoming [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content