Gadzooks! Timothy Claypole could be making a comeback with a cake-obsesses scarecrow in tow. RDF Media, the production company behind Wife Swap, has bought the rights to ’70s kids comedies Wurzel Gummidge and Rentaghost.
Rentaghost, written by Bob Block, was a slapstick-led romp in which a variety of ghosts set up a business hiring out their haunting prowess. Or at least that’s how it started. Through its 60-episode run it seemed to morph instead into a show about how trouble the spooks could cause their boss, Mr Meeker. In an age where we’re warned about TV dumbing down, we should never forget that the height of comedy in this show was a pantomime horse getting a pie in the face. Primary spooks including Jester Timothy Claypole, Hazel the MacWitch and Mrs Popov, who would vanish when she sneezed.
Wurzel Gummidge starred Jon Pertwee as a frankly scary living scarecrow with an unrequited crush on Aunt Sally (Una Stubbs) a wooden headed mannequin with ideas above her station, used as coconut target practice at a fair. Despite the fact he looked like the epitome of a strange man children shouldn't talk to, he was befriended by two kids who became involved in his misadventures.
"We feel there is real potential for these classic brands to be reworked for a modern-day audience and are very excited to take them forward," said Nigel Pickard, the director of family entertainment at RDF.
Just leave out the panto horse. Please.