Mackenzie Crook plotting reunion with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant by casting them in Worzel Gummidge

AFTER shooting to fame 20 years ago, the stars of The Office have all gone their separate ways – with plenty of success.

But Mackenzie Crook would love to bring Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant back together on his own baby, Worzel Gummidge.

He reckons his former co-stars on the cult Beeb sitcom would fit right into the show, which returns to BBC1 tomorrow at 5.45pm.

Mackenzie said: “To put someone like Ricky Gervais into the world of Scatterbrook would be great — it would certainly be an interesting casting. I’ve been saying for years I’d love to work with Ricky again.

“I haven’t been in touch with him for a while and I don’t know if he’s even seen Worzel Gummidge.

“Ricky and I got on very well because we laughed at the same things. Hopefully Worzel Gummidge is something that friends like him would find funny.”

Mackenzie played hapless office geek Gareth Keenan in The Office, which was a huge hit when it ran between 2001 and 2003.

Ricky, who co-wrote the BBC show with Stephen, played Gareth’s deluded boss David Brent.

Stephen is currently starring in The Outlaws on BBC1, which he also wrote.

Mackenzie said: “I was watching Stephen’s new show and just thinking about how we’d all gone off and done our thing, and it’s brilliant and we’re all still making a living in this industry and creating stuff.

“But I’d like to work with Stephen again — he’s a brilliant bloke.

“Getting Ricky and him on Worzel would be the closest thing you’d get to an actual reunion of The Office.

“I think an actual reunion of The Office is off the cards — I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.”

I’ll settle for seeing them together again in Scatterbrook.

Six-packed with Toby

CHAMELEON Toby Jones saw his shape-shifting skills put to the test for tomorrow’s ­Worzel Gummidge: Guy Forks.

He had to play no fewer than six different characters in the hour-long special, but it was worth it so he could be reunited with Mackenzie, who starred alongside him in hit BBC2 ­comedy The Detectorists.

Mackenzie said: “We’re good friends and he’s a hilarious man.

"To see him play six ­separate characters was a ­masterclass of clowning and character acting.”

Worzel Jnr gives blessing

MACKENZIE was thrilled when Sean Pertwee crowed about his version of Worzel Gummidge – more than four decades after his father Jon Pertwee starred as the popular scarecrow.

Actor Sean, who is also the voice of BBC1’s MasterChef: The Professionals, said the new interpretation was “fantastic”.

He added: “Good on Mackenzie for breathing life back into the character.”

Mackenzie said: “It was really gratifying to hear it – just that he saw the show but also that he appreciated it.

“If he’d said he didn’t like it, it would have been difficult.”

Mackenzie added that he would love to get Sean in on his adaptation after the Gotham star had a cameo – also as a scarecrow – in the original series, aged 17, in 1981.

Mackenzie said: “I love all those connections with the past, and he’s a brilliant actor. I’d love to get him on board.”

Comedy turn fits Bill

STRICTLY winner Bill Bailey is going from sequins and sparkles to straw and sackcloth.

The comedian, who triumphed on the BBC dancing contest last year, will star in one of the two episodes airing around Christmas.

Mackenzie said: “I was looking for a magical mystical fairground owner with a twinkle in his eye. Bill ticked all the boxes and he’s a bit of a national treasure at the moment. I’ve always been a big fan of his, too.

“It was just the idea of this magical Willy Wonka-type character, I could see him doing it so charmingly.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky in the choices of cast. Michael Palin set the precedent by featuring in one of the first episodes.”

Troublesome cousin

WORZEL’S troublesome cousin Guy Forks is played by joker Paul Kaye, who appeared in Game Of Thrones and After Life.

Kids face ageing axe

A TRIO of Worzel Gummidge specials have now aired, and three more will air before the end of 2021.

But Mackenzie says it’s unlikely he’ll be able to make more for another two years because he’s about to go into a lengthy West End play.

That causes problems with the two children who co-star with Worzel, Susan played by India Brown and John played by Thierry Wickens.

Mackenzie said: “I’m going to have to think what to do because those kids are growing up fast – we just got away with it this time but in a year and a half, it might be a case of looking at getting a new set of kids in.

“But at the moment I’m really happy with these six films that we’ve made. If there is another opportunity to add to it in the future then, of course, I’m not going to rule it out.”

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