|The Worst Witch|
The Worst Witch title
No. of Series
No. of episodes
BBC (within CBBC)
January 11 2017
The Worst Witch is a British television series about a group of young witches at a Magic Academy and is based on The Worst Witch books by Jill Murphy. The series follows Mildred Hubble, a normal girl from a world outside of magic, as she finds herself at Miss Cackle’s Academy for witches, and strives not to be The Worst Witch!
Cast Members include Clare Higgins as headteacher Miss Cackle; Raquel Cassidy as the deputy-headteacher and fearsome potions teacher, Miss Hardbroom; Bella Ramsey as Mildred Hubble; Meibh Campbell and Tamara Smart as her friends Maud Spellbody and Enid Nightshade; and Jenny Richardson as Ethel Hallow.
It is the fifth adaptation of The Worst Witch series after the 1986 television film, the 1998 television series, the 2001 television spin-off and the 2005 television spin-off.
The series is a co-production between CBBC and ZDF. The 12-part series started airing in January 2017, and will be available to stream internationally on Netflix in 2017. The series was released on DVD on May 29, 2017.
The Worst Witch: Magic Adventure is an online game on the CBBC website, designed to tie in with the series.
A re-imagining of the popular Jill Murphy books, the series centres on Mildred Hubble, a girl from a world outside of magic who finds herself landing head first – quite literally - at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. Although she tries her best, her lack of magical knowledge sees her constantly getting things wrong and the series follows her adventures as she strives not to be The Worst Witch. The series follows the friendship of Mildred, Maud and Enid as they navigate the trials and tribulations of a new school, the intrigue, the drama - and the rivalries - which come in the form of Mildred’s arch enemy, Ethel Hallow, played by Jenny Richardson.
In an interview in October 2014, Jill Murphy stated that a new TV series was on the way: “We’re just in the process of working on it with the BBC. They have much better special effects for the animals, so it should be wonderful. I’m really, really looking forward to it.”
In May 2016, casting was announced with filming set to take place on location in Cheshire throughout the summer, with additional filming in Germany, and will be shown on CBBC early 2017.
On October 31, 2016 (Halloween), a sneak peek of the series was released, along with cast photos and an air date of Janurary 2016.
The series is a co-production between the BBC, Netflix and German broadcaster ZDF. Commissioned by CBBC Controller, Cheryl Taylor, The Worst Witch is made by CBBC Productions, the in-house creative team based in Salford, and is co-produced with ZDF and distributed by ZDFE. The CBBC Productions executive producer is Marcus Wilson, Lucy Martin is producing and Emma Reeves is lead writer on the adaptation. This is CBBC Productions’ second major partnership with the German broadcaster and distributor, and follows on from the success of the Wolfblood franchise. The collaboration between CBBC, Netflix and ZDF has allowed for a budget far beyond that usually spent on children’s television programmes.
Some exterior scenes were filmed in Germany - the witch academy's exteriors will look like the famous Burg Hohenzollern. Other filming locations include Peckforton Castle and Alnwick Castle in the UK. Alnwick Castle was previously used as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.
- Miss Ada Cackle and Agatha Cackle - Clare Higgins
- Miss Hecate Hardbroom - Raquel Cassidy
- Miss Bat - Wendy Craig
- Miss Gullet - Kacey Ainsworth
- Miss Dimity Drill - Shauna Shim
- Miss Tapioca - Zita Sattar
- Ms Julie Hubble - Nicola Stephenson
- Mildred Hubble- Bella Ramsey
- Maud Spellbody - Meibh Campbell
- Enid Nightshade - Tamara Smart
- Ethel Hallow - Jenny Richardson
- Drusilla Paddock - Tallulah Milligan
- Felicity Foxglove - Dagny Rollins
- Esmerelda Hallow - Miriam Petche
- Algernon Rowan-Webb - Philip Martin Brown
- The Great Wizard - Nicholas Jones
- Mr Nightshade - Jonathon Ojinnaka
- Mrs Nightshade - Holly Quin-Ankrah
- Mr Spellbody - Henry Miller
- Mrs Spellbody - Lynsey Anne Moffatt
- Mrs Hallow - Emma Handy
- Old Mildred - Rachel Bell
- Miss Darkside - Kitty Martin
- Miss Pippa Pentangle- Amanda Holden
- Zac Hawthorn- Max True
- Young Ada Cackle- Sarah Gower
- Young Agatha Cackle- Claire Gower
- Mrs Alma Cackle- Gillian Waugh
- Episodes 1-2: Selection Day- Shown as a double length episode
- Episode 3: Tabby
- Episode 4: New Girl
- Episode 5: Pond Life
- Episode 6: The Great Wizard's Visit
- Episode 7: The Best Teacher
- Episode 8: Maud's Big Mistake
- Episode 9: The First Witch
- Episode 10: Spelling Bee
- Episode 11: The Mists of Time
- Episode 12: Out of Bounds
- Episode 13: The Worst Headmistress
The series was released on DVD in The UK on May 29, 2017, as a 3 disc set. It will also be released as three separate volumes: Selection Day and Other Stories, The Great Wizard's Visit and Other Stories, and The Mists of Time and Other Stories.
- In an interview with Raquel Cassidy, she mentioned a "massive invitation to play" with her character (Miss Hardbroom), as the books don't have a lot of characterisation.
- Emma Reeves, who wrote the series, avoided watching the previous version so as to avoid accidental plagiarism.