The CBBC’s remake of The Worst Witch is moving full steam ahead, with filming set to take place throughout this summer and a stellar cast conjured up.
The 13-part series brings Jill Murphy’s books into the 21st century and welcomes a gaggle of newcomers to play the pupils of Miss Cackle’s Academy.
Bella Ramsey is cast as Mildred Hubble, with Meibh Campbell and Tamara Smart as her friends Maud Spellbody and Enid Nightshade, and Jenny Richardson to play Maud’s arch rival Ethel Hallow (a role originally portrayed by Oscar nominee Felicity Jones).
Among the teaching staff are Doctor Who actress Clare Higgins playing the school’s headteacher Miss Cackle, Downton Abbey actress Raquel Cassidy as Mildred’s fearsome Deputy Head Miss Hardbroom, and Wendy Craig (The Royal) portraying chanting teacher Miss Bat.
Nicola Stephenson (Clocking Off) takes on the role of Ms Hubble while health-and-safety conscious teacher Miss Gullet will be played by former EastEnders actress Kacey Ainsworth.
“Published 42 years ago, The Worst Witch has been the cornerstone of my career,” said author Murphy. “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!’”
The series will be filmed this summer on location in Cheshire with additional scenes shot in Germany ahead of a CBBC release date in early 2017.