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Worzel Gummidge Christmas special - everything you need to know

Worzel Gummidge 2020 Christmas special
(Image credit: BBC/Leopard Pictures/Amanda Searle/Matt Burlem)

The new Worzel Gummidge will feature Harry Potter's Shirley Henderson as Saucy Nancy and acting legend Vanessa Redgrave as Peg

Worzel Gummidge, starring Mackenzie Crook, is back on BBC1 for a new adventure on Christmas Eve at 5.55pm.

The loveable scarecrow returned to our screens last year to widespread critical acclaim and was a Christmas TV highlight.

Vanessa Redgrave as Peg in Worzel Gummidge

Vanessa Redgrave as Peg

Now, star and writer Mackenzie Crook is coming back as Worzel in a new one hour film - Saucy Nancy - and it will be screened on Christmas Eve on BBC1.

It will see Worzel, Susan and John visit a scrapyard. While there Worzel hears a foul-mouthed old friend - the carved ship’s figurehead, Saucy Nancy! Poor Nancy has laid unsold for years and is desperate to get back to the sea. Can Worzel and the kids help her? Worzel isn’t sure, but Nancy is convinced.

The gang then go on a great adventure as they navigate their way to the coast on foot, by bus, wheelbarrow, motorbike and sidecar. But not everything goes to plan…

"It’s a really simple road trip story," explains Mackenzie. "Worzel and Saucy Nancy, of course, can’t be seen by other humans so it’s about the mischief and adventures that befall them as they try to make the journey. It’s a change of scenery and a day away from Scatterbrook Farm."

Harry Potter star joins Worzel Gummidge...

Shirley Henderson

Shirley Henderson (Getty Images) (Image credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images f)

Harry Potter star Shirley Henderson, who was Moaning Myrtle in the hit films, will play Saucy Nancy. India Brown will play Susan and Thierry Wickens as John. Meanwhile, acting legend Vanessa Redgrave will play Peg.

Mackenzie Crook says: “I'm excited and grateful to be making a new episode of Worzel Gummidge after a difficult year for everyone. We're heading out of Scatterbrook for this story, on a day trip to the seaside, some fresh air and some wide open space.”

Shirley Henderson as Saucy Nancy in Worzel Gummidge

Shirley Henderson as Saucy Nancy

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Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning for the BBC added: “What is it with Mackenzie and shows set in a field? Following on from last year’s bucolic eco-fables we find Worzel in mischievous form dispensing his sun-baked wit and wisdom in another heart-warming tale. This cements BBC1’s unique reputation as the home of UK family comedy drama.”

The books were adapted before for the ITV children’s series, which ran from 1979 to 1981. Jon Pertwee, best known for his role as the Third Doctor in Doctor Who, starred as Worzel alongside Sherlock actress Una Stubbs as Aunt Sally.

Worzel Gummidge Christmas special release date

Worzel Gummidge Christmas 2020

Our favourite scarecrow returns on Christmas Eve

Worzel Gummidge: Saucy Nancy will be screened on Christmas Eve on BBC1 at 5.55pm. It is one hour long.