It’s Worzel Gummidge’s Guy Forks special

Saturday:Worzel Gummidge: Guy Forks; (BBC1, 5.45pm)

When it was announced that Mackenzie Crook was writing, directing and starring in a new version of Worzel Gummidge, some people were a little bit sceptical.

Many of them had fond memories of the 1970s TV series starring Jon Pertwee as the loveable scarecrow – or slightly more disturbing memories of being scared when he swapped heads. And while Worzel’s head stays firmly in place in the new adaptation, the first photos of Crook in his makeup left some people wondering if this new take would be equally creepy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Luckily, when audiences tuned into the first two episodes over Christmas 2019, they were treated to a thoroughly charming, funny family comedy, which drew inspiration from the original books by Barbara Euphan Todd while bringing them into the 21st century.

John, Worzel Gummidge and Susan

As Crook says: “The original stories, they’re kind of difficult to bring up to date, they’re very of their time, in the 1930s. Not much of what they’re talking about is relevant, but the characters and the feel of it is still relevant, and so I’ve got this luxury of picking out the bits I like from the books and weaving my own stories around them which sometimes feels like a liberty. But I’m sure Barbara Euphan Todd would have appreciated what we’re doing with it – bringing it up to date in a kind and caring and environmentally-friendly way.”

The first instalments were such a hit, they were followed by another film, which aired last year on Christmas Eve.

So, many people will be glad to see that Worzel’s back again, although they may initially be surprised that the BBC hasn’t saved this adventure for Christmas. However, as the title suggests, this latest episode deserves to be seen closer to Bonfire Night.

Paul Kaye co-stars as Worzel’s cousin, Guy Forks, who has arrived at Scatterbrook in time to go on top of the bonfire, but a row between the relatives about who could do the other’s job better leads to them switching places.

Guy Forks

The village committee (all six members of which are played by Crook’s Dectorists co-star Toby Jones) is too distracted to notice the substitution, so it’s looks like it’s up to Worzel’s human friends John (Thierry Wickens) and Susan to find a way to rescue the scarecrow before it’s too late. At least they have Aunt Sally (Vicki Pepperdine) to help them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It’s to be hoped Worzel does make it off the bonfire in one piece, as he’ll soon be seen in two more adventures.

It’s been announced that the next instalment in the offing is Twitchers, which sees a flock of rare choughs descend on Scatterbook Farm. Worzel is excited about the chance to scare such a rare bird, but when word gets out it becomes clear that he isn’t the only one who wants to get closer to the feathered visitors.

There’s more excitement in Calliope Jane, as a travelling fair arrives. Legend has it that there’s an enchanted organ which sends humans to sleep so that scarecrows can enjoy the rides without being seen, but dare he and his friends take the risk?

A message from the Editor:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to newsletter.co.uk

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Thank you