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Variety: ‘Harry Potter’ Star Miriam Margolyes Lends Voice to Spike Milligan Animation ‘Badjelly’ From WildBrain, TVNZ

Miriam Margolyes, who played Professor Sprout in the “Harry Potter” film franchise, is lending her voice to a new kids project titled “Badjelly,” Variety can confirm.

Based on the Spike Milligan children’s book “Badjelly the Witch: A Fairy Story,” the animated series will bring to life Milligan’s original tale about two siblings who go searching for a lost cow – and stumble upon a cast of magical creatures.

Margolyes is set to play Badjelly in the project, who is described as “the wickedest witch in all the world.” When she bumps into brother and sister Tim and Rose on their adventures in the great black forest high jinks ensue. Tim will be voiced by Malachi Hall (“The Flatshare”) while Ava Diakhaby (“Shortland Street”) plays Rose.

The 13-part series is aimed at 7-11 year old and is set for delivery in 2025. The show is already in production.

“’Badjelly’ delivers a fresh new take for today’s kids on this classic story, all the while preserving the crazy humour, bizarre situations and quirky characters from Milligan’s original tale that has entertained kids for generations,” reads the logline.

Joining Margolyes in the series are Rhys Darby (“Trolls”) as the mischievous Binklebonk plus Roisin Conaty (“GameFace”), Cohen Holloway (“Under the Vines”), Mandip Gill (“Dr Who”), Joe Wilkinson (“Sex Education”), Katherine Parkinson (“Significant Other”), Kiell Smith-Bynoe (“Ghosts”) and Julian Barratt (“The Great”).

The series is an international co-production between New Zealand’s Mukpuddy Animation, Canada’s Sphere Animation and the UK’s Cantilever Media. It was commissioned by New Zealand’s TVNZ and WildBrain Television’s Family Channel in Canada and has already been acquired by ABC Australia.

WildBrain is repping international rights outside of New Zealand and Australia.

Head writer and co-director Ryan Cooper said: “We’ve assembled a great team of writers and creatives who are taking Spike Milligan’s creation to another level of enchantment, thrills and whimsical quirky fun. Stay tuned as this magical ‘Badjell’y animated series rekindles the spirit of Milligan’s whimsical world and takes you on an unforgettable adventure!”

Producer Simon Ward added: “’Badjelly the Witch’ is wildly popular in New Zealand. Generations of Kiwi kids have grown up with the book, the radio play and countless versions of the stage show. We’re delighted to bring this beloved classic to a global audience with our take on Spike Milligan’s bonkers adventure.”

“Badjelly” is funded by Te Puna Kairangi, the New Zealand Government’s Premium Productions Fund, NZ On Air, and the New Zealand Screen Production Rebate (NZSPR) as well as the Ontario and Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credits, the British Film Institute’s UK Global Screen Fund and the UK Animation Tax Credit.