Following the much loved and critically acclaimed 2019 adaptation of Worzel Gummidge, a third new one hour film will be screened on BBC One later this year – Saucy Nancy. Mackenzie Crook has written another beautifully crafted and magical episode, inspired by the classic books by Barbara Euphan Todd, which he will direct and star in, bringing a world of adventure to all the family.
Leopard Pictures, part of Argonon Group, are once again partnering with Treasure Trove Productions and Lola Entertainment to bring another glorious story to life for an audience of all ages. The film has been commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning for the BBC and Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer for the BBC.
When Worzel Gummidge, Susan and John visit a scrapyard, Worzel overhears the grumbling of a foul-mouthed old friend, the carved ship’s figurehead, Saucy Nancy. She 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. In a rare trip out of Scatterbrook, Worzel gets to see a wild moorland and the spectacular white cliffs of Seashell that provide the back drop to this story of friendship and belonging.
Joining Mackenzie Crook as Worzel Gummidge, India Brown as Susan and Thierry Wickens as John, are Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter) as Saucy Nancy and acting legend Vanessa Redgrave as Peg. Further casting will be announced soon.
Mackenzie Crook says: “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.”
Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning for the BBC added: “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. This cements BBC One’s unique reputation as the home of UK family comedy drama.”
Last year’s Christmas episodes of Worzel Gummidge received a wealth of glowing praise from audiences and critics alike. The Guardian gave five stars, describing the shows as a “joyful, joke-filled eco-romp”, the Radio Times also awarded the “funny, poignant and heartwarming”“ films five stars, and the Daily Mail proclaimed Worzel “a TV wonder”, similarly giving five stars.