Michael Palin And Zoe Wanamaker Join Mackenzie Crook’s Worzel Gummidge

Michael Palin, Zoe Wanamaker

by James White |
Published on

In the works for a while, the full news about Mackenzie Crook's plan to bring late 1970s/early 1980s TV icon Worzel Gummidge back to screens broke in June, and now we know a little more about the supporting cast. Michael Palin, Zoe Wanamaker and more are all aboard.

Once again adapting Barbara Euphan Todd's books, the new show – or two one-hour instalments at least – has Crook writing, directing and starring as the living scarecrow. The first, The Scarecrow Of Scatterbrook, sees two youngsters (India Brown and Thierry Wickens) 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 episode, The Green Man, welcomes another mysterious arrival to Scatterbrook. The Green Man (Palin) 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 (Wanamaker) 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?

"It’s a lovely part for me, but the whole script is very memorable and touching, and very funny," Palin says. "It quite skillfully weaves in something for everybody all the time."

Vicki Pepperdine will be Worzel's romantic interest Aunt Sally, while Steve Pemberton's playing farmer Mr. Braithwaite and Rosie Cavaliero is his wife. The two parts will arrive on BBC One later this year.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us