Worzel Gummidge S01E02 - A Home Fit For Scarecrows.avi
Worzel Gummidge S01E03 - Aunt Sally.avi
Worzel Gummidge S01E04 - The Crowman.avi
Worzel Gummidge S01E05 - A Little Learning.avi
Worzel Gummidge S01E06 - Worzel Pays A Visit.avi
Worzel Gummidge S01E07 - The Scarecrow Hop.avi
worzel gummidge series 1.nfo
Worzel Gummidge Complete Series One (7 x 30 mins) Aired: 25 Feb-8 Apr 1979, Sun 5.30pm
Created by Barbara Euphan Todd and first unveiled to the public in a 1935 BBC radio Children's Hour broadcast, The Scarecrow Of Scatterbrook, Worzel Gummidge - a scarecrow who comes to life - has demonstrated a remarkable longevity and multi-generational appeal, appearing in ten books, 1950s radio and TV series (Worzel Gummidge Turns Detective, a late 1980s TV shows produced in New Zealand (see next entry) and, most successfully of all, this worthy 1979-81 ITV filmed production (repeated by C4 from 19 October 1986 to 17 May 1987).
Here, the rascally but dim scarecrow of Scatterbrook Farm was brilliantly portrayed by the comedy actor Jon Pertwee, who had achieved fame on BBC radio in The Navy Lark and then, in a bold move, accepted the role of Doctor Who (1970-74). Pertwee remembered the Worzel Gummidge books from his youth and suggested a new small-screen version to Southern TV. Barbara Euphan Todd had died in February 1976, so Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall were recruited to write the scripts and a host of star names invited to play roles.
Key among these was former dancer Una Stubbs, of Till Death Us Do Part fame, who appeared as the bad-tempered, antique-fairground wooden doll Aunt Sally. Despite her mean ways, Worzel dreamed of marrying the selfish and bossy Sally, although he fancied other maidens too, like Saucy Nancy (Barbara Windsor), the figurehead from an old galleon ship. (In the books, however, Worzel was married, to the gentle Earthy Mangold.) Child actress - destined to become an adult star - Charlotte Coleman was cast as Sue Peters. Although initially shocked to discover that the muddied scarecrow can walk and talk, a fact that they keep secret from the adults, Sue and her brother John were Worzel's faithful young friends throughout the entertaining 31 episodes.
Such was the success of the TV show that the principal performers - Pertwee, Stubbs and Bayldon (best known as Catweazle, from the 1970-71 ITV children's drama of that title) - starred in a Worzel Gummidge British stage musical in the early 1980s, which toured and then took up residency at the Cambridge Theatre in London. It was directed by James Hill, the acclaimed film director who also imbued the TV series with his personal stamp of quality.
Jon Pertwee - Worzel
Una Stubbs - Aunt Sally
Geoffrey Bayldon - The Crowman
Jeremy Austin - John
Charlotte Coleman - Sue
Mike Berry - Mr Peters
Norman Bird - Mr Braithwaite
Megs Jenkins - Mrs Braithwaite
Joan Sims - Mrs Bloomsbury-Barton (series 1 and 2)
Michael Ripper - Mr Shepherd
Barbara Windsor - Saucy Nancy
Lorraine Chase - Dolly Clothes-Peg
Billy Connolly - Bogle McNeep (Christmas special)
Bernard Cribbins - Jolly Jack
Thorley Walters - Colonel Bloodstock (series 3 and 4)
Bruce Phillips - The Crowman (Down Under)
Jonathan Marks - Mickey (Down Under)
Olivia Ihimaera-Smiler - Manu (Down Under)
Wi Kuki Kaa - Travelling Scarecrow Maker (Down Under)
Maria James - Eloise (Down Under; alternated role in series 2 with Olivia Ihimaera-Smiler as Manu)