Long-Lost Worzel Gummidge Animated Pilot Rediscovered

By Gary Cutlack on at

People who remember the early 1980s will almost certainly have a funny story about nightmares induced by Worzel Gummidge, the TV programme starring a bizarre head-changing undead scarecrow that passed for family teatime entertainment back then.

The original live action Gummidge was broadcast on ITV on-and-off from 1979 to 1987, but this particular piece of Worzel Gummidge material is from the BBC, which was in the advanced stages of assembling an animated return of the character in the mid-90s; until plans were abandoned after the death of lead actor Jon Pertwee.  Una Stubbs, who starred in the ITV series alongside Pertwee as some other awful come-to-life horror, was to lend her voice to the animated version too.

BBC producer Richard Latto discovered the pilot episode mixed in with some ITV Gummidge ephemera in possession of the son of animator Maurice Pooley, who'd also kept the full script and storyboard for the production used by his late father. [BBC]