Worzel Gummidge 2020 cast: who stars with Mackenzie Crook and Shirley Henderson in BBC series Saucy Nancy?
The Christmas special will honour Barbara Windsor who played Saucy Nancy in the 1980s original
Mackenzie Crook – known for The Office, Pirates Of The Caribbean and The Detectorists – is back as loveable scarecrow Worzel Gummidge this Christmas.
Last year, we saw two one-off films follow Gummidge’s madcap adventures, and now a new film, Saucy Nancy, promises to be another family favourite this festive period.
Crook said: “I’m excited and grateful to be making a new episode of Worzel Gummidge after a difficult year for everyone. We’re heading out of Scatterbrook for this story, on a day trip to the seaside, some fresh air and some wide open space.”
Here is everything you need to know.
What is Saucy Nancy about?
The new episode will see the walking, talking scarecrow come across a foul-mouthed old friend; a carved ship’s figurehead called Saucy Nancy.
According to the BBC’s synopsis, Nancy has been “languishing, unsold in the yard for years and longs to return to the sea.
"Worzel and the kids promise to get her there, but will her ship be waiting? Worzel doubts it, but Nancy is convinced. She can feel it in her carvings.
“Adventure unfurls, as the strange foursome navigate their way to the coast on foot, by bus, wheelbarrow, motorbike and sidecar. It was never going to be straightforward.”
The rare trip out of Scatterbrook will see Gummidge encounter wild moorland and the white cliffs of Seashell, and the episode will honour Barbara Windsor, who played Saucy Nancy in the 1980s original.
Who stars in it?
Of course, the star of the show remains Mackenzie Crook.
The Maidstone-born actor and father-of-two is once again not only responsible for writing the special episodes – which are inspired by a series of books by English novelist Barbara Euphan Todd – but also directing them and playing the titular role.
Playing Saucy Nancy is Shirley Henderson, a Scottish actress best known for her film roles including Gail in Trainspotting, Jude in the three Bridget Jones films and Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter.
Alongside Crook and Henderson, India Brown (The Stranger) will return as Susan and Thierry Wickens as John, while Vanessa Redgrave (Call the Midwife) will play Peg.
Also on the cast, Steve Pemberton (Inside No. 9) and Rosie Cavaliero (Hold the Sunset) return as Mr and Mrs Braithwaite.
When was it filmed?
The filming of Saucy Nancy was due to take place earlier in 2020, but was delayed by the Covid-19 crisis.
“We were all gearing up to start prep when lockdown happened,” said Crook, who also revealed the plan was to do two Worzel Gummidge episodes this year, and two next year.
“As time was going on and on, we decided that we would not try and squeeze two in, and just do the one this year.
“It was a brilliant relief to actually get up there and make an episode, because at times it looked like we weren’t going to be able to do any and that would have been a two-year wait for people to see another episode, which would have been a huge amount of time for children.”
Shane Allen, controller of comedy commissioning for the BBC, said: “What is it with Mackenzie and shows set in a field?
“Following on from last year’s bucolic eco-fables we find Worzel in mischievous form dispensing his sun-baked wit and wisdom in another heart-warming tale.”
When can I watch it?
Worzel Gummidge: Saucy Nancy will air on Christmas Eve (24 December) at 5:55pm on BBC One.