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Mackenzie Crook seen as Worzel Gummidge in first look image

Mackenzie Crook (Ian West/PA)
Mackenzie Crook (Ian West/PA)

Mackenzie Crook has been pictured as Worzel Gummidge for the first time.

The actor, 47, is playing the much-loved scarecrow in two hour-long films on BBC One.

Crook wrote, directs and stars as Worzel in the modern adaptation, inspired by the classic books of Barbara Euphan Todd.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be back working with the BBC and many members of the Detectorists team to bring Worzel Gummidge to a new generation of viewers and reintroduce him to old friends.

“Adapting Barbara Euphan Todd’s books into these two films has been a joy and I’ve completely fallen for her charming, irreverent scarecrow.

“Fingers crossed for a glorious English summer as we head out to Scatterbrook Farm and Worzel’s Ten Acre Field.”

The first 60-minute episode, entitled 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.

The second episode, The Green Man, welcomes another mysterious arrival – the Green Man, who is the creator of scarecrows and keeper of scarecrow lore and is not happy that Worzel is consorting with humans.

Mackenzie Crook as Worzel Gummidge
Mackenzie Crook as Worzel Gummidge (BBC/Leopard Pictures/Matt Burlem)

Further cast details have yet to be announced.

Leopard Pictures, part of Argonon Group, is partnering with Treasure Trove Productions and Lola Entertainment on the films.

Shane Allen, controller comedy commissioning at the BBC, said: “Mackenzie’s widely adored and multi-Bafta award winning Detectorists was a grown up love letter to bucolic England and with Worzel he takes a similar approach to English folklore, rural rites and the magic of childhood.

“His visionary and fundamental reinterpretation of this classic is that rare and special achievement – a BBC One family friendly comedy.”

Kristian Smith, executive producer for Leopard Pictures, said the two films are “real treat pieces for a family audience”.

“There was nobody other than Mackenzie that I wanted to work with on this,” Smith continued.

“The vision and creativity of this man is awesome. He has written two beautiful scripts that are clever, warm and funny. And once again he has attracted a formidable cast of tremendous actors.

“We are so excited to be able to bring these new Worzel Gummidge stories to everybody.”

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