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Worzel Gummidge had to scrap plans for second 2020 special

Worzel Gummidge star Mackenzie Crook has revealed that he originally planned to film two specials this year before the pandemic halted production.

Worzel Gummidge season 2 on BBC One (Mackenzie Crook)

Mackenzie Crook has revealed that a second Worzel Gummidge special was due to be filmed this year but was scrapped due to COVID-19.

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The actor, who stars as the titular character in the upcoming Christmas episode, told The Sun: “I’m happy that we’ve got at least one episode out there.

“The plan was originally to make two this year but we just didn’t have the time,” he said. “We were about to start pre-production when it closed down.

“During the first lockdown I was able to keep writing and keep preparing, so when we were finally able to make an episode we were ready to go.”

The Christmas Eve episode will see Susan (India Brown), John (Thierry Wickens) and scarecrow Worzel (Crook) return to help Saucy Nancy, a discarded ship figurehead played by Harry Potter star Shirley Henderson.

When asked whether the episode is a fitting tribute to the late Dame Barbara Windsor, who played the role of Saucy Nancy in the original 1980’s Worzel Gummidge, Crook said: “Absolutely yes.”

“She played the original version and a lot of people will remember that fondly,” he added. “It’s so sad that she died just weeks before our new one went out.”

The upcoming episode will also see legendary actress Vanessa Redgrave make an appearance as Peg, an old seaman living in a shipwreck on the beach.

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Crook’s adaptation of Barbara Euphan Todd’s classic stories made its debut last year, with two specials airing over the Christmas period.

Worzel Gummidge: Saucy Nancy airs on BBC One at 5:55pm on Christmas Eve. You can order the books on Amazon. While you’re waiting, check out our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.