The writer-director-star of the reboot was unaware of the passing for the animated scarecrow.
By Patrick McLennan
Mackenzie Crooksays he didn’t watch Worzel Gummidge when he was young and was unaware of the passion that people of his generation had for the living scarecrow when he agreed to make last year’s two-part series.
Crook is back with another Worzel Gummidge special, Saucy Nancy, this Christmas after the success of 2019’s rebooted family drama based on the books of Barbara Euphon Todd.
He told The One Show: “There’s a whole generation of people, my age I guess, that held the ’80s version, the Jon Pertwee version so dearly to their hearts… And I didn’t actually watch that, 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.” Continue reading →
‘Harry Potter’ fans will recognise the actor taking over the role, originally played by the late Barbara Windsor
By Sophie McEvoy
Brought back to the screen by Mackenzie Cook last Christmas, this year Worzel Gummidge will see the return of one of the series’ most memorable characters, an abandoned ship figurehead called Saucy Nancy. Originally played by the late Barbara Windsor, Nancy accompanied Worzel and friends on all sorts of adventures. But who plays Saucy Nancy in the Worzel Gummidge 2020 Christmas special?
Filling Windsor’s legendary shoes is one of Scotland’s most recognisable actors, Shirley Henderson. She’s starred in a dozen British classics, including Danny Boyle’s seminal film Trainspotting and it’s sequel T2Trainspotting, Bridget Jones’s Diary, 24 Hour Party People, Ojka, and an episode of Doctor Who. But for Harry Potter fans, she’ll forever be Moaning Myrtle. First appearing in the Chamber of Secrets, Henderson’s portrayal of the 14-year-old ghost is one of the series most memorable characters and one she is most often recognised for.
Raised in Fife with her two sisters, Henderson began to pursue acting after performing at local drama clubs. She went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama when she was 17, and while she found it tough, she was confident enough to soldier through it. “I was quite brave as a kid, too, and maybe that helped,” Henderson told the Guardian. “I wasn’t frightened of people, but I didn’t have a clue about the outside world.”
“I had my own strengths,” she added. “I just knew I wanted to learn, and I would.”
This drive has led itself to Henderson’s ability to perfect character acting, case in point her role as Saucy Nancy — especially since she’s portraying the unconventional role of an abandoned ship figurehead with a penchant for swearing. “She speaks in her own way: she’s very expressive. I suppose it’s shocking language to Worzel, he thinks she’s being absolutely awful and swearing but at the same time he enjoys it,” Henderson told the BBC. “She’s got a reputation for it. It’s just how she is. Worzel’s worried the children will be shocked by I think it goes over their heads. It’s very funny.”
And in terms of being a fitting tribute to Nancy’s original performer Barbara Windsor, show writer and star Mackenzie Cook reckons it certainly is. “Absolutely, yes,” he recently told the Sun. “She played the original version and a lot of people will remember that fondly. It’s so sad that she died just weeks before our new one went out.”
The Detectorists actor will star as the scarecrow formerly portrayed by Doctor Who’s Jon Pertwee
Mackenzie Crook is a turnip-headed scarecrow in a first look at his new BBC1 adaptation of the classic children’s Worzel Gummidge books.
The Detectorists star has written two hour-long films based around the talking scarecrow, who was originally portrayed by Doctor Who actor Jon Pertwee in an ITV series that aired between 1979-81 (and was later revived for a New Zealand spin-off in 1987-89).