BBC bosses slammed by parents for filling Worzel Gummidge with sexual innuendos

Angry parents have blasted BBC bosses for ruining kids’ TV favourite Worzel Gummidge by “littering it with sexual innuendos”.

The highly anticipated new episode of the rebooted series, called ‘Twitchers’, was released on BBC iPlayer on Tuesday.

It was seen by 2.7million and some eagle-eyed viewers spotted at least four hidden jokes, relying heavily on rude-sounding bird names.

In one scene actor Steve Pemberton, who plays grumpy farmer Henry Braithwaite, is telling his foster children about his past hobby as a bird-watcher.

He says he lost out to his rival twitcher, who spotted a “red-knobbed coot” leaving siblings Susan and John in hysterics.

In another scene, fellow twitcher Lee Dangerman tells a fictional news reporter he “travelled 350 miles to see a blue-footed booby”.

Minutes later, during an interview for the evening TV news, Lee stares into the camera and asks the female reporter: “Have you ever seen a penduline tit?”

The embarrassed news reporter quickly ends the interview, saying: “We’ll cut there”, while Lee boasts: “I have”.

Some viewers even claimed T-shirts in the background of the shots, which had the words, “I was choughed at Scatterbook”, was slang for sex.

Others slammed Worzel star Mackenzie Crook, who wrote and directed the new series, and accused him of “going for cheap laughs”.

Mum-of-four Jodie Graham, 45, from Alnwick, Northumberland, said: “I usually love watching the new Worzel Gummidge episodes and my kids do too but I was a bit surprised about the Twitchers one.

“They littered it with far too much sexual innuendo for my liking.

“I counted at least three rude gags which is a lot for a family programme.

“My youngest is only seven and he kept asking me why Susan and John were laughing when Mr Braitwaite said ‘red-knobbed coot’.

“I didn’t really have an answer.”

Dad-of-one Gavin Taylor, 40, from Nottingham, said: “Worzel is a Christmas tradition in our house but the bird-watching episode was a bit too rude for a young audience.

“I felt the writers were going for cheap laughs on this one although I did find the ‘red-knobbed coot’ line amusing but then anything Steve Pemberton does is funny.”

One social media user said: “Few naughty jokes in Worzel tonight. Must admit I did laugh when Lee Dangerman asked TV reporter Hazel Diamond if she’d ever seen a penduline tit!”

Twitter user Lee Arnold added: “Almost choked on my mince pie after watching the new Gummidge with my family.

“Two boob gags, a knob reference and T-shirts proudly declaring ‘I got choughed in Scatterbook’.

“My 20-year-old nephew tells me ‘choughed’ is youth parlance for ‘sex’. I imagine a savvy student will make a killing flogging ‘I got choughed by Worzel’ T-shirts soon..”

The Twitchers episode was watched by 2.7 million viewers, the BBC have confirmed.

Complaints are published on the BBC’s website every two weeks.

A spokesperson said: “Whilst we wouldn’t comment on this [the complaints], do note that Worzel Gummidge: Twitchers was watched by 2.7m viewers on BBC One last night.”

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