The Worst Witch (1998 TV series)

This article is about the 1998-2001 television series. For the 1986 television film, see The Worst Witch (TV film).
The Worst Witch

Series title card
Genre Children's Fantasy
Based on The Worst Witch
by Jill Murphy
Written by Martin Riley (23 ep.)
Garry Lyons (12 ep.)
Clive Endersby (2 ep.)
Graham Mitchell (2 ep.)
David Finley (1 ep.)
Directed by Andrew Morgan (16 ep.)
Stefan Pleszczynski (15 ep.)
Alex Kirby (5 ep.)
John Smith (4 ep.)
Starring Georgina Sherrington
Felicity Jones
Una Stubbs
Clare Coulter
Jessica Fox
Theme music composer Paul K. Joyce
Opening theme Onwards Ever Striving Onwards
Ending theme Onwards Ever Striving Onwards
Composer(s) Paul K. Joyce
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 40 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Michael Haggiag
Arnie Gelbart
Dan Maddicott
Producer(s) Angela Beeching (30 ep.)
Michael Haggiag (10 ep.)
Location(s) Twickenham Film Studios, London
Loseley Park, Guildford
Castell Coch, Wales (Opening)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) United Productions
Original network ITV (within CITV) (UK), CBC (Canada)
Original release 22 October 1998 (1998-10-22) 
26 January 2001 (2001-01-26)
Followed by Weirdsister College
The New Worst Witch

The Worst Witch is a British-Canadian ITV television series about a group of young witches at a school for magic. The series stars Georgina Sherrington and Felicity Jones, and is based on The Worst Witch books by Jill Murphy (published from 1974 onwards). It aired for a total of 40 episodes spread over three series between 1998 and 2001, before being followed by Weirdsister College. Most episodes revolved around the school, following the adventures of Mildred and her friends. The series was later followed by The New Worst Witch, which ran for two series and chronicled the experiences of Mildred's younger cousin Hettie as she attended the school.

On 2 November 2014, it was announced that a new series was in development with the BBC.[1]


The series stars Georgina Sherrington and Felicity Jones (as Mildred Hubble and Ethel Hallow respectively), and was broadcast from 1998 to 2001 on ITV, and later on HBO. The series also stars veteran British actress Una Stubbs as the eccentric chanting teacher, Miss Bat. Felicity Jones was replaced by Katy Allen after the first series, it was explained away as a magical makeover (a "witch-over"). New characters were also added, such as Frank Blossom (the school's caretaker), Miss Crotchet, the music teacher in the third series who replaced Miss Bat and two students from ethnic minorities – Ruby Cherrytree and Jadu Wali. New recurring characters included Merlin Langstaff, a wizard apprentice who befriended Mildred, his two mean-spirited acquaintances – Barry "Baz" Dragonsbane and Gary "Gaz" Grailquest, Charlie, Frank Blossom's nephew who really wanted to be a wizard, Mrs. Cosie, the nervous owner of the nearby tearoom and Mistress Hecketty Broomhead, the evil school inspector who later became a brief headmistress. Also as a character who appears more than once is Egbert Hellibore, chief wizard and headmaster of Camelot Castle, where Merlin, Charlie, Baz and Gaz live.The first season dramatised The Worst Witch and The Worst Witch Strikes Again, and the second series dramatised A Bad Spell For The Worst Witch and The Worst Witch All At Sea. Both of these two series also contained original stories. The third and final series continued with purely original material.




Recurring characters


Awards and nominations

In 1999, the series was nominated by the Royal Television Society for Best Children's Drama.[2]

In 2000, Georgina Sherrington won the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series – Leading Young Actress.[3]

VHS and DVD releases

In the United Kingdom series 1 was released on VHS on six videocassette tapes in 2000. "The Best of" was released on DVD in 2002 and included the episodes: "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 series 1 and 2 were released on DVD in 2004.

In Australia series 1–3 of The Worst Witch were released onto DVD as was Weirdsister College, and both series of The New Worst Witch were released in 2007. Series one and two of The Worst Witch were released as one boxset, containing four discs which play on most DVD players (including the United Kingdom), as well as Series three and Weirdsister College on another boxset.


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