When was the original series of Worzel Gummidge as the BBC airs its new adaptation?

Worzel Gummidge is heading back to screens with Mackenzie Crook taking over from where Jon Pertwee left off (Picture: BBC/ITV/Rex Shutterstock)

The BBC is bringing an old favourite back to the screen this Christmas with their rebooted version of TV classic Worzel Gummidge.

The 21st Century take on the Scatterbrook Farm scarecrow – originally created by author Barbara Euphan Todd – sees The Office’s Mackenzie Crook playing the titular character who comes to life, with the world being thrown off-kilter as a result.

The new adaptation features a cast which also includes the likes of Michael Palin, Steve Pemberton, Rosie Cavaliero and Vicki Pepperdine as Aunt Sally.

Of course it’s been a while since we last saw Worzel – previously played by the late Jon Pertwee – and Aunt Sally on screen.

Just when was the original series on TV?

When was the original series of Worzel Gummidge?

The original series of Worzel Gummidge began in 1979, and aired on ITV rather than the BBC, being a production of the regional network Southern Television.

It ran for four series until 1981, eventually ending after Southern lost its contract to broadcast on ITV – with the show failing to be picked up by another company in spite of efforts being made to keep it going.

Jon Pertwee played Worzel from 1979-1981 before the series was revived in the mid-80s and relocated to New Zealand (Picture: Rex Shutterstock)

However Channel 4 briefly revived Worzel in 1987 as Worzel Gummidge Down Under – which lasted for two seasons and transferred the action to New Zealand.

That show saw Jon Pertwee returning to the role of Worzel, and Una Stubbs returning as his love interest Aunt Sally – although they were the only original cast members to return.

While Worzel might have been a household name to children of the 70s and 80s, the character’s actually been around a lot longer than that.

He first appeared in book form in the 1936 novel Worzel Gummidge by Barbara Euphan Todd, with a further nine Worzel books published between then and 1963.

The books are a little different to the TV versions – with Worzel being married to Earthy Mangold in the novels, while Aunt Sally is his actual aunt as opposed to his love interest.

When is Worzel Gummidge on?

The two-part series begins on Boxing Day on BBC One at 6.20pm.

The second part is on Friday 27 December on BBC One at 7pm.

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