Worzel Gummidge, a scarecrow that could come to life and lived in Ten Acre Field, was modelled on any number of men you’d find wandering aimlessly around Omagh, Killyclogher, Tattyreagh, Strabane or Dromore according to two producers who worked on the show during 1979 and 1981.
Gummidge, whose catchphrase was ‘A cup o’ tea an’ a slice o’ cake‘, was played by John Pertwee with his love interest coming from Aunt Sally acted by Una Stubbs.
In his memoir, producer Kenny Rainhome admitted:
“I was visiting cousins in Tyrone in 1978 and was amazed at the way nearly every fellow was the same as the next: black hats, straw hair, straw hands, muddied face and funny way of talking. And then they’d just be standing in fields looking about. I loved them so I thought I’d pay homage to their existence.”
The West Tyrone Preservation Society have reacted angrily to the revelation but admitted they’re not surprised:
“We’re proud of our men. And so what if they keep a lot of straw about themselves? Sure in England all the men are on drugs and wear wigs and stuff. But this does not come as big news to us. Sure wasn’t The Muppets based on the decision of the Moortown jury to award Mary Quinn from Ballinderry as Miss Wrangler Jeans 1966 when Sarah O’Neill from Brocagh had a far better chassis on her.”
There are no plans to reboot Worzel Gummidge.