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26 Sep 2019

CASTING ANNOUNCMENT FOR BBC ONE ADAPTATION OF ICONIC WORZEL GUMMIDGE

Casting has been announced for the dazzling, modern adaptation of Worzel Gummidge, which will be enchanting BBC One viewers later this year. Set to broadcast in two one hour films, this family treat is inspired by the classic books of Barbara Euphan Todd and is pegged to be the TV event of the season. Mackenzie Crook (Pirates of the Caribbean, Detectorists) has taken Scatterbrook farm and the infamous characters of this well-loved tale and injected them with a tender and authentic charm. This is the perfect family adventure, packed with a fun, mischievous spirit and delivered with an environmental message.

Mackenzie Crook, who has written, directed and stars as Worzel Gummidge, has gathered a host of both accomplished and brilliant actors who are set to appear in this eagerly anticipated adaptation.

Playing The Green Man, creator of the scarecrows, who arrives to Scatterbrook in episode two, is comedy legend Sir Michael Palin (Monty Python).  He says: “It’s a lovely part for me, but the whole script is very memorable and touching, and very funny too. It quite skillfully weaves in something for everybody all the time.”

Zoë Wanamaker (My Family, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone) will play the eccentric local aristocrat, Lady Bloomsbury Barton in episode two. She says: “The whole thing is so charming and inventive. It’s the sort of thing I’d watch. I’m sure it will be a huge success. I know it will. It’s divine.”

Vicki Pepperdine (Getting On, The Windsors) takes on the role of the formidable Aunt Sally in episode one.  She says: “There’s something for everybody. It’s got this heart to it, and you’d be hard pushed as an adult not to engage with it.”

Steve Pemberton (League of Gentleman, Benidorm) will play Mr Braithwaite, the farmer. He says: “This is the kind of show the whole family can enjoy together. It has a lot of humour, a lot of visual humour too, and I think kids will enjoy watching the children being central to the story.”

Rosie Cavaliero (Gentleman Jack, Cleaning Up) will play Mrs Braithwaite, she added: “It’s a story about the imagination, and children escaping into this different world. Mackenzie’s version is totally contemporary.”

Ones to watch India Brown (Hetty Feather) and Thierry Wickens (making his TV debut) will play Susan and John, two city children spending their summer at Scatterbrook farm who quickly befriend Worzel and begin a summer of adventures.

The first episode, ‘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 second episode, ‘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?

Worzel Gummidge is written and directed by Mackenzie Crook and is a Leopard Pictures, Treasure Trove Productions and Lola Entertainment production for BBC One. It is Executive Produced by Kristian Smith for Leopard Pictures, Lisa Thomas for Lola Entertainment, Mackenzie Crook for Treasure Trove Productions, with rights holders Patrick D. Pidgeon and Eric S. Rollman executive producers for Pidgeon Entertainment, Inc. It is produced by Georgie Fallon and Alex Moody is the Commissioning Editor for the BBC.

Kew Media Distribution will be handing international sales and will be launching at MIPCOM 2019. 

Jonathan Ford, EVP of Sales at Kew Media Distribution, commented, “We are thrilled that such a strong cast has been assembled for what we believe will be the definitive new rendition of Worzel Gummidge. We can’t wait to deliver this eagerly awaited series to our international clients.”

 

Further casting

Francesca Mills – Earthy Mangold

Tim Plester – Clarty

Colin Michael Carmichael – Soggy Bogart

Andrew James Spooner – Flat Alistair

Phil Hulford – Hannah Harrow

Tom Meeten – HMS Odney

Christopher-Robert Barlow – Rag Bag

Kiran Shah – Chopper and Root Bound

Charlie Mayhew – Rustle Sprouter

Lucy Montgomery – Jackie  Pudding

Gus Brown – Oswald Pollypop

Malik Ibheis – Trike

Ben Langley – Driver

Mariam Haque – Receptionist 

 

For further information please contact:

Hannah Tollman / Neil Reading

Neil Reading PR

020 7839 2277

Hannah@neilreadingpr.com

 

Notes to editors

 

BBC Comedy

BBC Comedy is the UK’s largest generator of original British comedy (sitcom and sketch). Its programming delivers the highest audiences and wins the most awards across the board for pioneering and distinctive shows such as Inside No. 9, Fleabag, Not Going Out, People Just Do Nothing, This Country, Famalam, Mum, Peter Kay’s Car Share, Mrs Brown’s Boys and The Detectorists. BBC Comedy is renowned for backing incredibly talented British comedy writer performers such as Phoebe Waller Bridge, Peter Kay, Mackenzie Crook, Daisy and Charlie Cooper, Samson Kayo and Asim Chaudhry. In April 2019, Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy, announced he was developing British Comedy Foundation, backed by the BBC, which is opening the doors to new voices and furthering the impact of British comedy in the UK.

 

About Leopard Pictures

Leopard Pictures, part of Argonon Group, produces scripted content for U.K and International broadcasters. Headed by Kristian Smith as Chief Creative Officer, Leopard has a diverse range of commissions, and developments spanning drama, comedy and features. Leopard Pictures is committed to working with the best writing and performing talent to bring original stories to screen. 

 

About Argonon Group

Founded in 2011 by CEO James Burstall, Argonon is an independent production group headquartered in London with offices in Manchester, Glasgow, New York and Vancouver. Argonon is led by a board of creatives and entrepreneurs with James Burstall (CEO), Laura Bessell (COO), David Dugan (Chairman, Windfall Films).

The group consists of 12 companies producing multi award-winning programming for a wide range of major broadcasters in the UK, the USA and Canada, and specialises in factual, factual entertainment, entertainment, drama, arts, comedy and children’s programming. Argonon has won Emmys, BAFTAs, RTS Awards and many others – more than 60 in total and over 150 nominations.

Argonon is made up of Leopard Pictures, Leopard USA, Remedy Productions, Windfall Films, BriteSpark Films, Transparent Television, Barefaced TV and Bandicoot. Argonon also has its own successful rights and intellectual property distribution company with a catalogue of more than 2,000 hours of content – Argonon International.

In 2017 and 2016, the London Stock Exchange cited Argonon as one of 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain. In 2016 Argonon was featured in the Sunday Times HSBC Fast Track 200.

Argonon Group brings together exceptional creative and business talent from around the world and is committed to fostering a true spirit of independence and diversity both on and off-screen.

 

About Lola Entertainment

Lola Entertainment is an award-winning television production company owned and run by joint managing directors, John Bishop and Lisa Thomas. Their programme making includes stand-up comedy, scripted comedy, drama, travelogues and factual entertainment.

 

About Kew Media Distribution

Kew Media Distribution, part of Kew Media Group, produces and acquires more than 1,000 hours of new multi-genre content every year and distributes a diverse catalogue of film, television and digital assets to broadcasters and viewing platforms across the world. Kew Media Distribution manages international rights to a library of over 11,000 hours of TV and digital content, including major drama series, non-fiction entertainment, special event programming, kids’ series, TV movies and mini-series. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.kewmedia.com