The BBC’s version of TV classic Worzel Gummidge was one of the festive hits of 2019 – so much so that they’ve brought it back for another new episode this Christmas
The 21st Century take on the Scatterbrook Farm scarecrow – originally created by author Barbara Euphan Todd – sees The Office’s Mackenzie Crook playing the titular character who comes to life, with the world being thrown off-kilter as a result.
The new episode, Saucy Nancy, features Harry Potter star Shirley Henderson as an old friend of Worzel’s – a carved ship’s figurehead whom he helps on a quest to return her to the coast.
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 Una Stubbs as Aunt Sally.
But just when was the original series on TV?
When was the original 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.
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.
When is Worzel Gummidge on?
Worzel Gummidge airs on BBC One on Christmas Eve at 5.55pm.
If you miss it, you’ll be able to catch up via the BBC iPlayer.
Credit: Original article published here.