Casting details have been announced for CBBC’s reboot of The Worst Witch as filming of series commences.
Clare Higgins will play headteacher Miss Cackle; Raquel Cassidy is cast in the role of Mildred’s fearsome Deputy Head, Miss Hardbroom; Wendy Craig plays the fabulously ancient chanting teacher, Miss Bat; Nicola Stephenson will play Ms Hubble; and in the role of health-and-safety-conscious teacher, Miss Gullet, is Kacey Ainsworth.
Alongside these established names are talented newcomers Bella Ramsey as Mildred Hubble; Meibh Campbell and Tamara Smart as her friends Maud Spellbody and Enid Nightshade; and Jenny Richardson as Maud’s arch enemy, Ethel Hallow.
“We’re honoured that Jill has entrusted us to bring her novels to a new generation of excited viewers. This is an incredibly ambitious production for CBBC and we’ve assembled a fantastic cast and crew who can’t wait to take the audience into the amazing world of The Worst Witch. Time to grab your broomsticks and brace yourselves for the start of the new term at the most magical school in the world!” – CBBC Productions Executive Producer, Marcus Wilson
CBBC announced that it was bringing its own version of Jill Murphy’s book series – following Mildred Hubble’s adventures as she studies at Miss Cackle’s academy for witches – to the small screen in February. A previous successful television adaptation of the stories aired on CITV from 1998 to 2001.
The ITV series starred Georgina Sherrington and Felicity Jones in lead roles as Mildred Hubble and Ethel Hallow respectively. The stories proved successful for ITV running across three seasons and a further two spin-off shows expanding from the original stories with The New Worst Witch, 2005 to 2006, and sequel Weirdsister College in 2001.
“Published 42 years ago, The Worst Witch has been the cornerstone of my career. I illustrate my own books, so I am very protective about them in every way, and I’m delighted to say that this wonderful new production ticks all the boxes. There have been a few changes, to nudge the Academy into the 21st century, but die-hard fans needn’t worry, Miss Hardbroom is always on hand making sure that ‘Standards will NOT be slipping!’ Now, when my readers ask if they can visit the school, I can tell them ‘watch the new series of The Worst Witch on CBBC and you’ll feel as if you’ve just flown in through the window!'” – Jill Murphy
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. This is CBBC Productions’ second major partnership with the German broadcaster and distributor, and follows on from the success of the Wolfblood franchise.
Filming will take place on location in Cheshire throughout the summer, with additional filming in Germany, and will be shown on CBBC early 2017.