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Worzel Gummidge (ITV 1979-1981 with Jon Pertwee and Una Stubbs)

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UK / ITV – Southern / 30×30 minute episodes 1×60 minute episode / Broadcast 25 February 1979 – 12 December 1981

Writers: Keith Waterhouse, Willis Hall / Characters: Barbara Euphan Todd / Producer: James Hill

“You put the Wor after W, a wor after O”

Much loved Worzel Gummidge has been around since the 1940’s and was actually first seen on TV back in 1953 but it is this very gorgeous series, made between 179 and 81 and starring brilliant Jon Pertwee, that everyone knows.

At the start of the series John and Sue Peters (Jeremy Austin and Charlotte Coleman) move to the country with their dad after the death of their mother. Moving into a caravan on Scatterbrook Farm, they are more than a little shocked to discover that the scarecrow in ten acre field can actually come to life. Created by the kindly (but a little sinister) Crowman (played by Geoffrey Bayldon who also appeared in the cult-tastic Catweazle), they find out his name is Worzel Gummidge and pretty quickly realise that wherever he goes chaos is sure to follow.

Worzel, as played by Pertwee is a delicious character, kind hearted and a great nature lover (he even gives a Robin Redbreast a home in his straw chest, but also incredibly greedy and a great lover of “a cup o’ tea and a slice o’ cake”. His main aim in life is to make the haughty and very rude Aunt Sally (Una Stubbs in one of the best roles she’s ever played) fall in love with him, naturally Aunt Sally is a real fairground shy, able, like Worzel, to come to life. With Aunt Sally continually giving him the cold shoulder (except when there is cake involved) Worzel also liked to spend time with both ships figure head Saucy Nancy (A typecast Barbara Windsor) and Dolly Clothes-Peg (Lorraine “Luton Airport” Chase).

You are never far away from a laugh with Worzel and there is a fair amount of slapstick involved too; WG actually has quite a melancholic heart though with Worzel just looking for someone to love him and more often than not ending up with disappointment – although the crowman is always on hand to put things aright.

In 1987 Channel 4 made Worzel Gummidge Down Under which took Worzel and Aunt Sally to New Zealand. It ran until 1989 for two seasons and 22 episodes.

cast
JON PERTWEE as Worzel Gummidge
UNA STUBBS as Aunt Sally
JEREMY AUSTIN as John Peters
CHARLOTTE COLEMAN as Sue Peters
GEOFFREY BAYLDON as The Crowman
MIKE BERRY as Mr Peters
MICHAEL RIPPER as Mr Shepherd
JOAN SIMS as Mrs Bloomsbury-Barton
NORMAN BIRD as Mr Braithwaite
MEGS JENKINS as Mrs Braithwaite

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TV

Ape And Essence (The Wednesday Play BBC-1 1966, Alec McCowen)

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In Scifi drama Ape and Essence, based on the novel by Aldous Huxley, a group of New Zealand scientists conduct a survey on a Britain ravaged by atomic war 80 years previously.

Series: The Wednesday Play Season 2 Episode 29

cast
Alec McCowen as Alfred Poole
Robert Eddison as Arch Vicar
Derek Sydney as Chief
Jenny Lee as Flossie
Yvonne Antrobus as Young Girl
Sydney Bromley as Craigie
Martin Carroll as Director of Food
Hazel Douglas as Mies Hook
John Falconer as Patriarch
Petra Markham as Loola
Ken Parry as Science Praet
Amanda Reiss as Polly
Jonathan Scott as Int. Priest
Fiona Fraser as Part of Crowd
Ann Mitchell as Shaven-Head
Jacki Salt as Mulatto Girl
Carol Blake as Shaven-Head
Gordon Craig as Part of Crowd
Robert Cude as First Man

crew details
Writer: John Finch
Book: Aldous Huxley
Music: BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Producer: Peter Luke
Director: David Benedictus.

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC One
Duration: 1×75 minute episode
Aired From: 18 May 1966

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TV

Plane Makers, The (ITV 1963-1965, Patrick Wymark, Barbara Murray)

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Plane Makers Patrick Wymark

Drama series The Plane Makers took us behind the scenes in the boardroom and shop floor of the Scott Furlong Aircraft Factory. After two seasons the lead character John Wilder took a place on the board of a merchant bank and the series was then renamed The Power Game.

cast
Patrick Wymark as John Wilder
Jack Watling as Don Henderson
Barbara Murray as Pamela Wilder (Seasons 1-2)
Ann Firbank as Pamela Wilder (Season 3)
Reginald Marsh as Arthur Sugden
Alan Dobie as David Corbett

crew details
Creator: Wilfred Greatorex
Producers: Rex Firkin (seasons 1-2), David Reid (season 3)

production details
Country: UK
Network: ITV – ATV
Duration: 57×50 minute episodes
Aired From: 4 February 1963 – 12 January 1965 black and white

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TV

Running Wild (ITV 1987, Ray Brooks, Janet Key)

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Sitcom Running Wild was about the ups and downs of separated couple, Max and Babs, trying to get on with their lives. In season two Max wants to return to his wife but Babs is not so keen.

cast
Ray Brooks as Max Wild
Janet Key as Babs Wild
Sharon Duce as Wanda
Michelle Collins as Stephanie Wild
Peter Amory as Rob
Berwick Kaler as Tom Coleman (Season 1)
Brigit Forsyth as Jenny (Season 2)

crew details
Writer: Philip Trewinnard
Producers: Marcus Plantin (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)
Directors: Vic Finch (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – London Weekend Television
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 6 March 1987 – 4 June 1989

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