It may be Halloween, but CBBC have treats – not tricks – in store for fans of The Worst Witch as the first magical images of the cast have been released.
Fresh from taking Game of Thrones by storm as the child ruler of the Bear Islands, the young Bella Ramsey stars as Mildred Hubble, a girl from the “normal” world who finds herself at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. Unlike Harry Potter swot Hermione Granger, she struggles to find her place and constantly gets things wrong.
Ms Baxter from Downton Abbey – aka Raquel Cassidy – has been transformed into the fearsome deputy headteacher Miss Hardbroom…
…while Olivier Award-winning actress Clare Higgins is the kind-hearted headmistress Miss Cackle.
At Mildred’s side are her two friends Maud Spellbody (Meibh Campbell) and Enid Nightshade (Tamara Smart)…
….while the nasty Ethel Hallow is played by Jenny Richardson.
Britain’s Got Talent host Amanda Holden will also be guest-starring as Miss Pentangle, the headmistress of a rival witch academy who attend the school for a spelling bee.
The Worst Witch is based on the beloved novels by Jill Murphy. It was previously adapted into a TV series first broadcast in 1998, starring Georgina Sherrington as Mildred and a young Felicity Jones as her arch-nemesis Ethel.
In fact, Felicity recently told RadioTimes.com that she was hoping to return for a cameo – and CBBC have now hinted they may oblige.
As an extra treat for impatient fans, there’s also a sneak peek available to watch now. In the clip, it’s Cackle’s Academy’s “selection day”, but things start to spiral out of control with Mildred and Maud’s chaotic arrival – as they accidentally land in the school pond.
The Worst Witch will premiere on CBBC in January 2017