Worzel Gummidge reboot adds Michael Palin and Zoë Wanamaker

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The pair join Mackenzie Crook in the Beeb’s new series…

The BBC’s rebooted version of Worzel Gummidge has officially revealed another two big-name cast members.

Based on the books of Barbara Euphan Todd, Mackenzie Crook (Pirates Of The Caribbean, Detectorists) will star as scarecrow Gummidge this time around, and we now know that Zoë Wanamaker (My Family) will play “eccentric local aristocrat” Lady Bloomsbury Barton in episode two.

“The whole thing is so charming and inventive. It’s the sort of thing I’d watch,” said Wanamaker. “I’m sure it will be a huge success. I know it will – it’s divine.”

Sir Michael Palin, meanwhile, will star as scarecrow creator The Green Man in episode two. The actor said of his role, “It’s a lovely part for me, but the whole script is very memorable and touching, and very funny too. It quite skilfully weaves in something for everybody all the time.”

Vicki Pepperdine (The Windsors), Steve Pemberton (League Of Gentleman), Rosie Cavaliero (Gentleman Jack), India Brown (Hetty Feather) and Thierry Wickens also have roles.

Here are some details of the two forthcoming one-hour Worzel Gummidge episodes:

The Scarecrow Of Scatterbrook sees two young strangers arrive in the village of Scatterbrook. It’s not long before Susan and John encounter Worzel Gummidge, the Scarecrow of Ten Acre Field. Their world is sent spinning into confusion when they realise Gummidge comes to life. The only person more shocked is Worzel, when he discovers that the children are not in fact fellow scarecrows but humans.

Their worlds should never commune but fate has conspired to create an extraordinary union. The seasons have stopped and the harvest hasn’t arrived. The rhythm of the natural world is out of kilter and this unlikely trio must try to put it right. Magic, mystery and mayhem unfurl.

The Green Man welcomes another mysterious arrival to Scatterbrook. The Green Man is the creator of scarecrows and keeper of scarecrow lore. He isn’t at all happy that Worzel is consorting with humans. Elsewhere, local aristocrat Lady Bloomsbury Barton is holding a fete, with a Scarecrow competition that Worzel is determined to win. What will The Green Man and Worzel’s most competitive rival, Soggy Bogart make of it all?

The series will air on BBC One later on this year.