'Worzel Gummidge' Christmas special 2021: release date, plot, cast, trailer, and everything you need to know

Worzel Gummidge Christmas Special 2021
(Image credit: BBC/Leopard Pictures/Amanda Searle)

The Worzel Gummidge Christmas special 2021 is set to be one of the highlights of BBC1’s Christmas TV schedule.

The loveable scarecrow returned to our screens in 2019 to widespread critical acclaim. We've already seen star Mackenzie Crook return as the lovable scarecrow return earlier this year for the Worzel Gummidge Bonfire Night special, but Worzel, John, and Susan are about to return for more antics on Scatterbrook Farm.

Here's everything you need to know about the Worzel Gummidge Christmas special 2021.

'Worzel Gummidge' Christmas special 2021 release date

The first episode of the Worzel Gummidge Christmas special 2021 airs on BBC1 on Tuesday, Dec. 28 at 7:15 pm, with the other episode following on BBC1 on Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 7:15 pm. Both specials will also be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

For info on more of the great shows you can look forward to watching throughout the festive period, check out our Christmas TV Guide.

How many new stories will there be for the 'Worzel Gummidge' Christmas special 2021?

Worzel and his friends will return this Christmas for two episodes called Twitchers and Calliope Jane.

Twitchers sees a flock of choughs (a rare type of crow) blown into Scatterbrook Farm by a storm. Worzel is determined to frighten one of them off, as this opportunity doesn't come around too often, but a group of excitable bird watchers scuppers Worzel's plans when they set up camp on Ten Acre Field.

Meanwhile, Calliope Jane sees Scatterbrook livened up by a traveling fair for one night only. When we asked him what to expect from this episode, Mackenzie Crook said: "I had an idea that I’d like to see scarecrows in an old-fashioned funfair, and I tried to build a tenuous story around that! 

"So a magical funfair comes down to Scatterbrook, which the scarecrows believe they’re allowed to have a go on after hours when all the humans have gone to sleep...”’

Worzel Gummidge

Farmer Braithwaite (Steve Pemberton, right) is reunited with his birdwatching nemesis, Lee Dangerman (Aaron Neil) in ‘Twitchers’. (Image credit: BBC)

MORE: Doctor Who Christmas special 2021

'Worzel Gummidge' Christmas special 2021 cast

Worzel Gummidge fans will be delighted to learn that Worzel (Mackenzie Crook), John (Thierry Wickens), and Susan (India Brown) are all set to return this Christmas.

People hoping for more guest stars to follow in the footsteps of Toby Jones, Michael Palin, and Vanessa Redgrave will be delighted to learn that legendary comedian and former Strictly Come Dancing winner Bill Bailey is set to appear in Calliope Jane as the steam fair proprietor, FR Peregrine.

Bill Bailey as Mr Peregrine for episode two of the Worzel Gummidge Christmas special 2021

Bill Bailey as Mr Peregrine. (Image credit: BBC/Leopard Films/Chris Harris)

Mackenzie Crook told us: “I wrote the part of Mr. Peregrine, the fair owner as a magical, mysterious Willy Wonka with a twinkle in his eye and when we came to casting, Bill Bailey ticked all of those boxes. He’s become a bit of a national treasure since dancing his way to victory on Strictly!”

Is there a trailer?

Not yet, watch this space!

History of Worzel Gummidge

Worzel started life in 1936 as a series of books by Barbara Euphan Todd. The books were also adapted for a hugely popular 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. 

Mackenzie Crook brought the show back for the BBC in 2019. Speaking to us previously, Mackenzie said: “I’ve turned it into a climate-change fable, and it’s all about looking after the natural world. 

"It seemed like a good opportunity to push forward those issues in a funny rather than a preachy way. I hope it’s magical, and will also make kids sit up and realise they’ve got to act now.” 

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!