The Worst Witch (film)

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The Worst Witch
VHS cover
Based onThe Worst Witch
by Jill Murphy
Screenplay byMary Pleshette Willis
Directed byRobert W. Young
StarringDiana Rigg
Tim Curry
Charlotte Rae
Fairuza Balk
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
Executive producerHilary Heath
ProducerColin Shindler
CinematographyIan Hollands
EditorAndrew Denny
Running time70 minutes
Production companyCentral
Original networkITV
Original release
  • 1 November 1986 (1986-11-01)

The Worst Witch is a 1986 British musical fantasy television film based on the 1974 children's book of the same name by Jill Murphy.


The film follows the plot of the 1974 book. The story centres around Mildred Hubble, who is invariably the "Worst Witch" at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches.[1] Mildred causes many mishaps, including being late for school, making all of her classmates fall down, Mildred and her friend unintentionally turning themselves invisible, and transforming the class bully Ethel into a pig. The climax surrounds Miss Cackle's notorious evil twin sister, Agatha, plotting to take over the Academy. Ultimately Agatha is foiled by Mildred, and Mildred establishes herself as the hero for the academy.


  • Fairuza Balk as Mildred Hubble
  • Diana Rigg as Miss Hardbroom
  • Charlotte Rae as Miss Cackle/Agatha
  • Tim Curry as The Grand Wizard
  • Sabina Franklyn as Miss Spellbinder
  • Su Elliot as Delilah
  • Danielle Batchelor as Maud Warlock
  • Anna Kipling as Ethel Hallow
  • Kate Buckley as Donna
  • Leila Marr as Pixie Brown
  • Liz May Brice as Zoe Chant-Vestry
  • Katrina Heath as Sophie Hattrick
  • Tara Stevenson as Gloria Hobgoblin
  • Laura Heath as Misty Meadow
  • Sophie Cook as Natalie Sinister
  • Sophie Millett as Verity Sinister
  • Julia J. Nagle as Bubble Toil
  • Kathryn Lacey as Goodie Twocharm
  • Nevena Kaley as Dawn Undercover
  • Caroline Woolf as Julie Vanishing
  • Amy Shindler as Spinner Webb
  • Pui Fan Lee as Prefect


The film was shot at St. Michael's College in Tenbury Wells.[2]


Its opening and closing song "Growing Up Isn't Easy" was performed by Bonnie Langford and was composed by Charles Strouse with lyrics by Don Black. The pair also wrote "Anything Can Happen on Halloween". Denis King composed the movie’s score and wrote the song "My Little School".


  1. ^ Gilbert, Sophie (30 October 2015). "'The Worst Witch': An Appreciation of the Best/Worst Halloween Movie in 30 Years". The Atlantic. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  2. ^ Heffley, Lynne (21 October 1986). "TV REVIEW : TRICKS SPOIL THE TREATS IN HBO'S 'WORST WITCH'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 January 2023.

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