Worzel Gummidge Christmas special: What time is it on and how can I watch it?

 (BBC/Leopard Pictures/Amanda Searle/Matt Burlem)
(BBC/Leopard Pictures/Amanda Searle/Matt Burlem)

Worzel Gummidge, everyone’s favourite sentient scarecrow, is back for another Christmas special.

The children’s character was given a new lease of life last year thanks to a two-part reboot that aired on BBC One during the festive season.

Adapted by The Office’s Mackenzie Crook (who both stars in the titular role and directs), the series is based on the classic children’s books by Barbara Euphan Todd that follow the adventures of Worzel and his friends Susan and John.

Last year’s reboot was met with applause by both critics and fans who praised Crook for successfully adapting the Eighties scarecrow for modern times.

During a recent appearance on The One Show, Crook revealed that he had, in fact, not watched the original show – which starred Jon Pertwee and ran between 1979 and 1981– before he took on the reboot.

BBC/Leopard Pictures/Amanda Searle
BBC/Leopard Pictures/Amanda Searle

“There’s a whole generation of people, my age I guess, that held the Eighties Jon Pertwee version so dearly to their hearts and I didn’t actually watch that,” he said. “Perhaps I was unaware when I got involved and as the thing went on I realised what a thing this was on my shoulders, what a weight of responsibility.

“So when it was received so well, and when the reviews came out, that was the weight off my shoulders.”

Below is everything you need to know about this year’s Worzel Gummidge Christmas special.

When is Worzel Gummidge on TV and how can I watch it?

Worzel Gummidge is returning to screens on Christmas Eve, with the third film – titled Worzel Gummidge: Saucy Nancy – airing on BBC One at 5:55pm on 24 December.

The network will also be airing the two prior Worzel Gummidge specials in the lead-up to Christmas, so you can catch up on The Scarecrow of Scatterbrook at 3:50pm on Monday 21 December, as well as The Green Man at 3:40pm on Tuesday 22 December.

What is the Worzel Gummidge 2020 Christmas special about?

The forthcoming instalment sees Worzel, Susan and John visit a scrapyard where they encounter “a foul-mouthed friend”, Saucy Nancy, a wooden ship’s figurehead.

While Saucy Nancy has been gathering dust amongst old furniture, she has been dreaming of returning to the sea. Of course, Worzel and the gang promise to help deliver her there, although it’s not certain whether her ship will indeed be waiting for her.

The motley crew waste no time embarking on their adventure to the coast, which they travel to on foot, by bus, wheelbarrow, motorbike and sidecar. In a rare trip beyond Scatterbrook, Worzel gets to see a wild moorland and the white cliffs of Seashell.

BBC/Leopard Pictures/Amanda Searle
BBC/Leopard Pictures/Amanda Searle

Speaking about his scarecrow’s new surroundings, Crook told Radio Times: “It seemed obvious to me that there should be an environmental message. But I soon realised that kids don’t need that message to be spelt out – they’re already completely into it. It’s my generation that needs a kick up the a**e.”

While foul-mouthed Saucy Nancy has a reputation for cheeky language, there are no rude words actually spoken in the show. Instead, the figurehead gets imaginative with phrases including “spandy-legged tossle-head”.

Who is in the cast?

Crook will reprise the titular role of everyone’s favourite scarecrow, and will also be writing and directing the instalment.

India Brown and Thierry Wickens will return as duo Susan and John, with Shirley Henderson (Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter and Jude in Bridget Jones’s Diary) joining them as Saucy Nancy. British acting legends Vanessa Redgrave and Brian Blessed are also set to star in the forthcoming special.

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