Mackenzie Crook’s Worzel Gummidge to return for one-hour special

Harry Potter star Shirley Henderson will debut as a ship’s figurehead called Saucy Nancy.
Harry Potter star Shirley Henderson will debut as a ship’s figurehead called Saucy Nancy.

Mackenzie Crook will return as Worzel Gummidge after the BBC recommissioned his modern-day adaptation for a one-hour special.

The Detectorists star, 48, wrote, directed and starred in the original episodes, which aired as two hour-long films on BBC One over the Christmas period.

The new episode will see the walking, talking scarecrow come across a foul-mouthed old friend, a carved ship’s figurehead called Saucy Nancy, in a scrapyard.

Stan and Ollie – 62nd BFI London Film Festival
Shirley Henderson (Ian West/PA)

Along with friends Susan and John, Gummidge will help Saucy Nancy, played by Harry Potter star Shirley Henderson, return to the sea in search of her ship, making the journey by bus, wheelbarrow, and motorbike and sidecar.

The rare trip out of Scatterbrook will see Gummidge encounter wild moorland and the white cliffs of Seashell.

Crook said: “I’m excited and grateful to be making a new episode of Worzel Gummidge after a difficult year for everyone.

“We’re heading out of Scatterbrook for this story, on a day trip to the seaside, some fresh air and some wide open space.”

Alongside Crook, India Brown will return as Susan and Thierry Wickens as John, while Vanessa Redgrave will play Peg.

Shane Allen, controller of comedy commissioning for the BBC, said: “What is it with Mackenzie and shows set in a field?

Worzel Gummidge new films
Mackenzie Crook as Worzel Gummidge (Matt Burlem/PA)

“Following on from last year’s bucolic eco-fables we find Worzel in mischievous form dispensing his sun-baked wit and wisdom in another heart-warming tale.

“This cements BBC One’s unique reputation as the home of UK family comedy drama.”

Further casting will be announced soon.

The modern adaptation is inspired by the classic books by Barbara Euphan Todd.