My Celebrity Life

When was the first series of Worzel Gummidge?

My Celebrity Life –
Worzel Gummidge has quite the TV history (Picture: BBC/ITV)

TV icon Worzel Gummidge returns to our screens tonight in a Bonfire Night special.

The Scatterbrook Farm scarecrow – originally created by author Barbara Euphan Todd – takes on his cousin Guy Forks in the episode.

The Office star Mackenzie Crook stars as the titular character, alongside guest stars Toby Jones and Paul Kaye.

Of course, it’s not the first time we’ve seen Worzel on TV, with the character originally played by the late Jon Pertwee – with the late Una Stubbs as Aunt Sally.

But just when did the original series on grace our screens?

When was the first series of Worzel Gummidge?

The original series of Worzel Gummidge began in 1979, and aired on ITV rather than the BBC, being a production of the regional network Southern Television.

My Celebrity Life –
Jon Pertwee played Worzel from 1979-1981 before the series was revived in the mid-80s and relocated to New Zealand (Picture: ITV)

It ran for four series until 1981, eventually ending after Southern lost its contract to broadcast on ITV – with the show failing to be picked up by another company in spite of efforts being made to keep it going.

However, Channel 4 briefly revived Worzel in 1987 as Worzel Gummidge Down Under – which lasted for two seasons and transferred the action to New Zealand.

That show saw Jon Pertwee returning to the role of Worzel, and Una Stubbs returning as his love interest Aunt Sally – although they were the only original cast members to return.

While Worzel might have been a household name to children of the 70s and 80s, the character’s actually been around a lot longer than that.

He first appeared in book form in the 1936 novel Worzel Gummidge by Barbara Euphan Todd, with a further nine Worzel books published between then and 1963.

The books are a little different to the TV versions – with Worzel being married to Earthy Mangold in the novels, while Aunt Sally is his actual aunt as opposed to his love interest.

Worzel Gummidge airs tonight on BBC One at 5.45pm.

Credit: Original article published here.

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