Revisit Jon Pertwee in his favourite role as Worzel Gummidge in this 9 Disc Complete Collection of the classic TV series. It includes Worzel Gummidge Seasons 1-4, A cup o’ tea an’ a slice o’ cake and Worzel Gummidge Down Under Seasons 1-2.
Worzel Gummidge originally appeared in a series of books by Barbara Euphan Todd published between 1936 and 1963. This series was first adapted for television by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall in 1979. Waterhouse and Hall originally intended to make it as a film with Jon Pertwee but they were unable to raise the money or the distribution. Pertwee asked them instead to write a pilot for television which both the BBC and Thames Television turned down before Southern Television picked it up. Although it was made as a children’s series, it quickly became a TV show the whole family could enjoy with Jon Pertwee stating that 65 per cent of the viewers were adults. Well I’ll be bum swizzled!
The BBC haven’t knocked back the chance of airing Worzel Gummidge a second time round. BBC 1 are broadcasting two one-hour specials this Christmas of a dazzling, modern adaptation, written, directed and starring Mackenzie Crook. It also features a wealth of British talent including Sir Michael Palin, Zoe Wanamaker, Steve Pemberton and Vicki Pepperdine.
WORZEL GUMMIDGE SEASONS 1-4
The series ran for 4 seasons on ITV between 1979 and 1981 and immediately became a cult classic. Sadly when the production company lost the rights to Worzel Gummidge, the new owner chose to stop production.
Synopsis: Walking, talking scarecrow Worzel Gummidge lives on Scatterbrook Farm, where he stands in Ten Acre field. Made by The Crowman, Worzel (who can come to life and pass as human) is able to change his head to reflect his mood. Worzel has befriended children John and Susan Peters who come to stay during the holidays on the Braithwaites farm. Worzel lands John and Susan in trouble especially when he is mischievous, as he goes into a sulk and once again becomes a lifeless scarecrow leading others to blame the two children for all the trouble he causes. Worzel’s affection for Aunt Sally (a giant doll also able to pass as a human) is the cause of a lot of the trouble Worzel finds himself in.
A CUP O’ TEA AN’ A SLICE O’ CAKE
Now fully restored from the original film negatives, starring Billy Connolly and Barbara Windsor. It came second in IMDB’s award for overuse of punctuation in a title – beaten by Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Synopsis: Wily old Worzel looks destined to spend a cold Christmas alone in Ten Acre field when The Crowman bans him from scarecrow celebrations because he deserts his post. However, Worzel does not stay put for long and as he searches in the snow for Aunt Sally to invite to the Scarecrow Ball, he meets his old friend Saucy Nancy travelling on a pirate ship to star in pantomime. He is challenged to a hilarious sulking contest by a belligerent Scottish scarecrow, Bogle McNeep who, with his men, is heading back up north because he hates Christmas. Worzel eventually wins his reprieve from The Crowman and joins in the festive frivolity and fun of the Scarecrow Ball. It’s basically one horrendous cheese dream.
WORZEL GUMMIDGE DOWN UNDER SEASONS 1-2
The show ran for a further 2 seasons between 1987 and 1989 totalling another 22 episodes. The first series was written by the original writers Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall. There is also an early credit to special effects artist Peter Jackson, Oscar-winning director of the Lord of the Rings movies.
Synopsis: When Aunt Sally ends up on display in an antiques shop in England, she is bought by a Kiwi folk museum curator and sent to New Zealand. Thus the ever smitten Worzel stows away on an aeroplane to pursue her. Avoiding the clutches of the evil travelling scarecrowmaker, Worzel and Aunt Sally continue their comic adventures in New Zealand.
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