Mackenzie Crook has confirmed two Worzel Gummidge Easter eggs spotted by eagle-eyed fans – but has also ruled out a suspected third.
Last month’s Bonfire Night special Guy Forks was a bit of a treat for fans of Crook’s previous BBC series Detectorists – not only did it see him reunite with his old co-star Toby Jones, but viewers also thought they spotted characters resembling Andy (Crook) and Lance (Jones), as well as Lance’s familiar yellow Triumph TR7, in the background of the Worzel Gummidge episode.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com ahead of two new Worzel Gummidge specials, Crook confirmed the two figures spotted in the distance were indeed intended to be Andy and Lance. “That was just something nice for people to spot,” he said. “My son was playing me, and then another crew member was playing Lance. I just thought it’d be fun.”
But that wasn’t the only unexpected cameo in the Guy Forks episode – during Worzel’s visit to the allotments, a figure resembling Beatrix Potter character Mr McGregor could be seen…
Pretty sure that was Beatrix Potter's Mr McGregor at the allotments in #WorzelGummidge wasn't it? Sweet. Nice nod to #Detectorists, too. And more Aunt Sally in the next one, please. @vickipepperdine is just fantastic! pic.twitter.com/xHuelbx5HJ— Mark Braxton 💙 (@BraxM) November 6, 2021
This too was intentional, Crook confirmed. “Yes, yeah, absolutely. I’m really glad that people spotted that. It’s just such a recognisable image.”
Sometimes, though, viewers do spot things that aren’t really there – despite what some have asserted, Crook insists that the character of the publican Mr Wheatsheaf played by Toby Jones in Guy Forks was not intended by him as a parody of Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin.
“Some other people thought that one of Toby’s characters, the publican, was based on the founder of Wetherspoons,” Crook said. “There was internet chat about that, but that wasn’t intentional, unless the costume and make-up people did that behind my back!”
Worzel Gummidge, which sees Crook write, direct and play the title role of a misfit scarecrow, will air two new episodes on BBC One over the festive period: Twitchers on Tuesday, 28th December and Calliope Jane on Wednesday, 29th December, both airing at 7.15pm.
For more from Mackenzie Crook on the new episodes, come back tomorrow (28th December) to read our Big RT Interview.
This year’s Radio Times Christmas double issue is on sale now, featuring two weeks of TV, film and radio listings, reviews, features and interviews with the stars.