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BBC’s Worzel Gummidge reboot an ‘oasis of calm,’ Sir Michael Palin says

The BBC’s rebooted version of Worzel Gummidge will be an ‘oasis of calm’ amid the hectic nature of other TV shows, star Sir Michael Palin has said (David Mirzoeff/PA)
The BBC’s rebooted version of Worzel Gummidge will be an ‘oasis of calm’ amid the hectic nature of other TV shows, star Sir Michael Palin has said (David Mirzoeff/PA)

The BBC’s rebooted version of Worzel Gummidge will be an “oasis of calm” amid the hectic nature of other TV shows, star Sir Michael Palin has said.

The popular walking, talking scarecrow first appeared in children’s literature before being memorably portrayed on the small screen by Jon Pertwee between 1979-81.

Gummidge has now been adapted for TV again by the writer and actor Mackenzie Crook, who plays the title role.

Worzel Gummidge
Mackenzie Crook will star in a BBC adaption of classic children’s TV character Worzel Gummidge (Matt Burlem/PA)

Sir Michael stars in the two hour-long specials as Green Man, the creator of the scarecrows, and said the show will offer something different.

“It’s kind of different in tone from an awful lot that is on television,” he said.

“Because it’s usually in your face, noise… it (Worzel Gummidge) is just calm, and you have to listen and you have to watch, and I think the more TV like that the better really, otherwise we’re just getting everyone shouting for attention; ‘Look at me, look at this programme, go and look at that channel’.

“This is just an oasis of calm. It’s also a lovely oasis to be in, because it’s warm and friendly and extremely silly.”

Sir Michael, 76, is best known for being part of the Monty Python comedy group, as well as for his travel programmes.

He revealed he had no second thoughts about taking the role of Green Man and said he “greatly admires” Crook’s work, including comedy series Detectorists.

However, Sir Michael did admit to having “some insecurities” over whether he was the right man for the job.

“I thought, ‘Why me?’ Then you start to get some insecurities that it should be somebody else.

“But that was really why I took it on; it was a wonderful script, it had something to say, it also had some substance to it. Very funny, but also quite moving and says things about where we are now.

“And I love that the Green Man, apart from being like a walking tree, he’s the spirit of the old countryside, and I think it’s really, really important, and something Mackenzie feels very strongly about, that that is sadly disappearing.”

Worzel Gummidge is inspired by the classic books by Barbara Euphan Todd.

The TV adaptation airs on BBC One on Boxing Day and Friday, December 27.

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