Star cast revealed for new Worzel Gummidge

Thursday 19th September 2019, 11:21am

Worzel Gummidge. Image shows from L to R: John (Thierry Wickens), Susan (India Brown), Worzel (Mackenzie Crook).

Casting has announced for the "dazzling, modern adaptation" of Worzel Gummidge.

Set to broadcast as two one-hour films on BBC One, the family-friendly comedy is inspired by the classic books of Barbara Euphan Todd.

As previously revealed, the lead role will be taken by Mackenzie Crook, who has also written and directed the new version.

The BBC says: "Mackenzie Crook has taken Scatterbrook farm and the infamous characters of this well-loved tale and injected them with a tender and authentic charm. This is the perfect family adventure, packed with a fun, mischievous spirit and delivered with an environmental message."

Now, with filming complete, the full cast list has been revealed.

Michael Palin will take on the role of The Green Man, creator of the scarecrows, who arrives to Scatterbrook in Episode 2. The Monty Python star says: "It's a lovely part for me, but the whole script is very memorable and touching, and very funny too. It quite skillfully weaves in something for everybody all the time."

Zoë Wanamaker will play the eccentric local aristocrat, Lady Bloomsbury Barton in Episode 2. She says: "The whole thing is so charming and inventive. It's the sort of thing I'd watch. I'm sure it will be a huge success. I know it will - it's divine."

Vicki Pepperdine takes on the role of the formidable Aunt Sally in Episode 1. She says: "There's something for everybody. It's got this heart to it, and you'd be hard pushed as an adult not to engage with it."

Steve Pemberton will play Mr Braithwaite, the farmer. He says: "This is the kind of show the whole family can enjoy together. It has a lot of humour, a lot of visual humour too, and I think kids will enjoy watching the children being central to the story."

Rosie Cavaliero will play Mrs Braithwaite. She adds: "It's a story about the imagination, and children escaping into this different world. Mackenzie's version is totally contemporary."

Worzel Gummidge. Worzel (Mackenzie Crook).

The first episode, titled The Scarecrow Of Scatterbrook, sees two young strangers 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.

India Brown and Thierry Wickens will play Susan and John, the two city children spending their summer at Scatterbrook farm who quickly befriend Worzel and begin a summer of adventures.

The BBC says: "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 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 is holding a fete, with a Scarecrow competition that Worzel is determined to win. What will The Green Man and Worzel's most competitive rival, Soggy Bogart make of it all?

The cast list also includes Francesca Mills as Earthy Mangold, Tim Plester as Clarty, Colin Michael Carmichael as Soggy Bogart, Andrew James Spooner as Flat Alistair, Phil Hulford as Hannah Harrow, Tom Meeten as HMS Odney, Christopher-Robert Barlow as Rag Bag, Kiran Shah as Chopper and Root Bound, Charlie Mayhew as Rustle Sprouter, Lucy Montgomery as Jackie Pudding, Gus Brown as Oswald Pollypop, Malik Ibheis as Trike, Ben Langley as Driver, and Mariam Haque as Receptionist.

Worzel Gummidge is expected to be broadcast on BBC One during the festive season.

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