Mackenzie Crook had to scrap Worzel Gummidge episode due to coronavirus

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 21 December 2020
Mackenzie Crook

Mackenzie Crook

Mackenzie Crook has admitted a 'Worzel Gummidge' episode was scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic because delayed filming meant there wasn't enough time to get two made ready for Christmas

Mackenzie Crook has admitted a 'Worzel Gummidge' episode was scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 49-year-old actor will return as the walking, talking scarecrow in a new one-off show over the festive period but he revealed it was originally supposed to be followed by a second installment but producers "ran out of time" after filming was suspended for so long because of the global health crisis.

He said: "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.

“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.”

Making the show was particularly tough because of the extensive prosthetics Mackenzie requires to get into character.

He told The Sun newspaper: "The restrictions make it a very different process.

“I had to be in a bubble with the two prosthetic make-up artists, and they’ve got full PPE, masks and visors. They’re the only people who are allowed to approach me.

“We were in close proximity for up to four hours every day. But it’s a meditative time — I quite enjoy it.”

This year's episode features foul-mouthed Saucy Nancy, with Shirley Henderson taking on a part originally played by the late Dame Barbara Windsor in the original 1980s TV show and Mackenzie thinks it's an appropriate tribute for the iconic star, who passed away last week.

He said: "Absolutely, yes. She played the original version and a lot of people will remember that fondly.

“It’s so sad that she died just weeks before our new one went out.”

Ship figurehead Nancy is found abandoned in a scrapyard by Worzel and his pals but shocks them with her made-up foul language – which Mackenzie had great fun writing, even though he did get rid of some of the insults because he worried they were too rude.

He said: "That’s life as a writer. I winced a little bit.

“There were a couple that even got filmed and we had to cut them out later. I don’t think we realised how close they were to being offensive.

“They sound like they might be rude but they’re not.

“You should try it. Try writing a list of good swear words. They have to sound right. ‘Pipe scrape, you filthy pipe scrape’. Something about that sounds almost rude, something vaguely anatomical.”

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