Simon and the Witch is the name of a children's book by Margaret Stuart Barry, published by Collins, illustrated by Linda Birch. It is also generally used as the name of the series, which follows on. Simon is a very sensible young schoolboy, who has an friend who is a real witch. She is very silly, and an huge showoff.
In 1985, the first of the stories (The Backwards Spell) was dramatised for Children's BBC and shown as a one-off episode (called Simon and the Witch) in the second series of Up Our Street, a series of unrelated wacky stories, each with a different cast and writer, linked only by the unnamed 'street' of the title.
In 1987, the books were made into a television series for Children's BBC consisting of 25 fifteen-minute episodes, starring Elizabeth Spriggs as the Witch and Hugh Pollard as Simon. Guest stars included Joan Sims and a young Nicola Stapleton.
In the first chapter, The Backwards Spell the witch teaches Simon how to turn the school gardener into a frog, but forgets how to turn him back. She eventually remembers the spell, and turns the gardener into a man again, claiming privately she never forgot the spell at all. In chapter two, The Lost Magic Wand, the witch loses her wand so Simon takes her to the police station where the witch becomes fascinated with Constable Scruff's uniform, and so becomes a policewoman. The three eventually find the witch's wand, which has been stolen by two thieves who used it as a poker for their fire.
In chapter three, The Witch at the Seaside, Simon takes the witch on holiday to the beach for a day, where she makes the English Channel disappear, not believing Simon's assurances that it is not flooding. She agrees to put it back on the condition she is featured on the evening news, which she is. In The Witch has Measles, chapter four, the witch catches double German meas
In chapter five, Halloween, the witch (who has never heard of Halloween before) goes to a Halloween party, but is disgusted by 'fake' witches. Fortunately one hundred of her relatives turn up, with their black cats, and they crash the party, demonstrating their magic many times over. The final chapter of the book, The Witch's Visitor, is set at Christmas, the witch makes a snowman come to life, introducing him to people as her uncle Fred.
Simon and the Witch has been repeated several times on BBC1 and BBC2 from 1988 to 1994, CBBC on Choice premiered the series on Saturday September 9th 2000 at 8.20am, 11.20am, 2.50pm and 5.50pm and continued til Sunday December 3rd 2000, It re-appeared on Sunday morning and teatimes at 6.00am and 6.30pm under Wacky Weekend from 1st April 2001 - 24th June 2001 with Mortimer and Arabel on Saturdays, It returned in a weekday slot on Monday October 1st 2001 at 8.45am, 11.45am, 2.45pm and 5.45pm and continued til Thursday November 8th 2001, It has also appeared under viewer's requests on Choosy Bits from 2001/02. They missed one episode of the series which is the sixth episode in Series 1, reasons being is unknown. CBBC Channel repeated the series from November 18th - December 20th 2002 in a afternoon slot.