Angel, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff, aired for five seasons from 1999 to 2004, and while it has a devoted fanbase, it often gets overshadowed ...
The Worst Witch is a beloved British children's television series based on the books by Jill Murphy. Originally airing from 1998 to 2001, the show follows the magical adventures of Mildred Hubble, a young witch attending Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. Set in a whimsical world of spells and broomsticks, The Worst Witch offers a delightful blend of fantasy, friendship, and coming-of-age storytelling.
Georgina Sherrington takes on the lead role of Mildred Hubble, a clumsy and well-meaning young witch who often finds herself in amusing predicaments. Felicity Jones portrays the studious and rule-abiding Ethel Hallow, Mildred's academic rival. Emma Brown embodies the confident and popular Drusilla Paddock, while Clare Coulter portrays the wise and nurturing Miss Cackle, the headmistress of the academy. Kate Duchêne takes on the role of the stern and strict Miss Hardbroom, Mildred's formidable potions teacher.
Mildred's journey of self-discovery, friendship, and embracing her own uniqueness serves as a source of inspiration for viewers, encouraging them to believe in themselves and their abilities.
Our The Worst Witch facts include what Maud’s real surname is, why Kate Duchêne turned down a role in Harry Potter and the differences between The Worst Witch TV Series and Jill Murphy’s novels.
1. This Is Just One Of The Shows Released Based On Jill Murphy’s Books
The Worst Witch aired on ITV from 1998 to 2001 and it is based on Jill Murphy's The Worst Witch book series, first published in 1974. It consisted of three series with a total of 40 episodes and was succeeded by Weirdsister College. A subsequent series titled The New Worst Witch continued the story, following Mildred's younger cousin Hettie as she joined the school.
2. A New Adaptation Of The Worst Witch Was Released In 2017
In 2017, a new adaptation of The Worst Witch, produced through collaboration between CBBC, ZDF, and Netflix, premiered. This international co-production aired for four seasons and concluded in 2020.
3. The Show Was Released Across 6 VHS Tapes
In the United Kingdom, the first series was released on VHS across six tapes in 2000. A DVD compilation titled "The Best of" was released in 2002, featuring episodes such as "Battle of the Broomsticks," "A Pig in a Poke," "Old Hats and New Brooms," "It's a Frog's Life," "The Witchy Hour," "Unfairground," and "The Uninvited."
In the United States, the first and second series were released on DVD in 2004.
4. The Worst Witch Was Award Winning
In 1999, the series was nominated by the Royal Television Society for Best Children's Drama. In 2000, Georgina Sherrington won the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series – Leading Young Actress.
5. Felicity Jones Was Replaced By Katy Allen In Season One
In the first series, Felicity Jones was replaced by Katy Allen, with her departure explained as a magical makeover known as a "witch-over." According to Jones' mother, this change was due to her homesickness during the first season's production. Jones would later return as Ethel in the spin-off series, Weirdsister College.
6. Which Of The Worst Witch Novels Were Adapted Into TV Episodes?
The first series adapted The Worst Witch and The Worst Witch Strikes Again, while the second series brought A Bad Spell For The Worst Witch and The Worst Witch All At Sea to life. Both series also featured original stories. The third and final series exclusively featured original material.
7. Kate Duchêne Turned Down Harry Potter In Loyalty To The Worst Witch
The long-noted similarities between The Worst Witch and the Harry Potter series are evident. In fact, Kate Duchêne was offered a role in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) but declined it out of loyalty to The Worst Witch franchise.
8. What Happened To Miss Bat?
The Worst Witch TV series never explicitly explained what happened to Miss Bat after the second season. However, promotional material on CITV stated that she went to live in Inner Mongolia.
9. Producers Created Weirdsister College Due To Sherrington's Age
The fourth season of the show was transformed into the spin-off series Weirdsister College. Producers felt it would be unrealistic for Mildred to still be at school, as Georgina Sherrington was already eighteen by the time the third season ended.
10. The Worst Witch Was Filmed In South Wales
Filming for The Worst Witch took place in Castle Coch in South Wales, UK.
11. Jill Murphy Released Three More Books After The TV Series
During the production, only four books from The Worst Witch series had been published. However, following the TV series' popularity, Jill Murphy went on to release three more books.
12. Some Scenes Were Filmed In Canada
As the show was a joint production between the UK and Canada, certain episodes featuring the girls outside Cackle's for an extended period were filmed in Canada.
13. Jill Murphy Preferred The Worst Witch Earlier Seasons
Jill Murphy approved of the TV series and actually preferred it over the previous The Worst Witch television movie from the 80s. However, she expressed that she believed the earlier parts were better, as the TV series extended beyond the books and had to create new material. Murphy had more involvement in the 2017 reboot.
14. The Teacher’s Names Weren’t Revealed In The Books
The first names of the teachers were never revealed in the books. However, The Worst Witch TV series named them Amelia Cackle, Constance Hardbroom, Davina Bat, and Imogen Drill.
15. Drucilla Should Have Been “Drusilla”
Drucilla, who only made a brief appearance in the fourth book, became a more prominent character in later books due to the popularity of the TV series. In the TV adaptation, Holly Rivers's character spells her name as 'Drucilla', which aligns with how it is spelled in the books. However, Jill Murphy later clarified that it was originally intended to be spelled 'Drusilla', as reflected in the 2017 reboot.
16. The Chief Wizard Was Played By Two People
Terrence Hardiman portrayed the Chief Wizard in Season 1, but Richard Durden took on the role for his one appearance in Season 2. Hardiman returned to play the character in Season 3.
17. The Worst Witch Fixed A Continuity Error In The Novels
Interestingly, The Worst Witch TV series corrected a continuity mistake found in the book adaptations. In the first book, Ethel can still talk when she is transformed into a pig. However, when Ethel turns Mildred into a frog, Mildred is unable to speak at all. In the TV adaptation, Ethel is also unable to talk when transformed into a pig.
18. Maud’s Last Name Is Actually “Spellbody” Not “Moonshine”
Maud's last name was not revealed until the fourth book, The Worst Witch All At Sea, where Miss Hardbroom refers to her as Maud Spellbody. The TV series introduced her last name as 'Moonshine'.
19. Stephanie Lane Appeared In The Three The Worst Witch TV Projects
Stephanie Lane, who made one appearance in The Worst Witch, later appeared in two related projects: Weirdsister College and The New Worst Witch.
20. Claire Coulter Dubbed Her Lines With Her Own Accent
Clare Coulter was the only non-British actor involved in the production (excluding the material shot in Canada). When The Worst Witch was dubbed for the American and Canadian release, she dubbed her own lines using her natural accent.
21. Joanna Dyce Really Is A Trained Tap Dancer
During The Worst Witch Christmas pantomime, the characters are compelled to include a sequence of Ruby tap dancing to save time. Actor Joanna Dyce, who portrays Ruby, is a trained tap dancer.
Thanks for reading "The Worst Witch Facts Every 1990s Kid Should Know" on January Media.