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A television adaptation of Worzel Gummidge was produced by Southern Television for ITV, written by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, and starring Jon Pertwee as Worzel and Una Stubbs as Aunt Sally, a life-size fairground doll. The Crowman, who made Worzel and some of his other scarecrow friends, is played by Geoffrey Bayldon (better known for his starring role as the title character of Catweazle). Four series totalling 30 episodes and one extended Christmas special, were made between 1979 and 1981, when Southern lost its franchise. The new franchise-holder, TVS, was not interested in renewing the show, and a deal with HTV fell through.
The programme remained in limbo until Television New Zealand commissioned Worzel Gummidge Down Under in 1987, which was shot in New Zealand and ran for two series totalling a further 22 episodes. Only Pertwee and Stubbs remained from the original cast, with Bruce Phillips joining the cast as a new Crowman.
Worzel is a scarecrow who gets bored standing around in his field all day and often wanders into town to see what's going on. In the first episode he befriends a pair of children who spend most of the series trying to clear up the messes he creates. He is not very bright because his head is a turnip (or rather, a set of interchangeable turnips for different occasions). He is madly in love with the Aunt Sally doll, but she considers herself a lady and far too good for a common scarecrow. A good deal of the show's entertainment value comes from the interaction between Worzel and Sally, played with relish by Pertwee and Stubbs.