The 1980 Worzel Gummidge Christmas Special will hit the shelves today (28th October 2019). This will be the second time A Cup O’ Tea An’ A Slice O’ Cake has been released on DVD (the first was a Delta Home Entertainment release in 2002), but this spiffing new version from Fabulous Films promises to be fully restored and remastered from the original film negative.
In the story, poor old Worzel is barred from the scarecrow Christmas celebrations because the Crowman (Geoffrey Bayldon) discovers that he has deserted his post (literally). Facing a Yuletide alone in Ten Acre Wood, Worzel searches out Aunt Sally (Sherlock’s Una Stubbs), gets into a sulking contest with the belligerent Scottish Scarecrow, Bogle McNeep (Billy Connolly), and comes across Saucy Nancy (Barbara Windsor). There’s even an appearance from Jon Pertwee’s cousin – that stalwart of Dad’s Army – Bill Pertwee.
Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, this vintage release also anticipates the BBC’s shiny new adaptation of Barbara Euphan Todd’s Worzel Gummidge novels; written by, directed by, and starring MacKenzie Crook (he also wrote da feem toon and sings da feem toon). Set to broadcast as two one-hour films on BBC One, the new version stars Michael Palin as The Green Man with Zoë Wanamaker (previously the Lady Cassandra) attempting to fill the mighty shoes of Joan Sims as Lady Bloomsbury-Barton. There are also roles for the talents of Vicki Pepperdine, Rosie Cavaliero (Hunderby), and that noted Gentleman, Steve Pemberton.
India Brown and Thierry Wickens will star as the children, Susan and John, who befriend Worzel and together tackle a threat that is both timeless and utterly contemporary: the seasons have stopped, the harvest has failed, and the rhythm of the natural world is broken.
You can order A Cup O’ Tea An’ A Slice O’ Cake here. For an entirely unrestored or remastered preview, why not drop in on the Hop?