HER big sister Courtney won Oxfordshire's hearts as the county's favourite secret Santa.

Now Megan Hughes is about to cast a spell over the whole country.

The 12-year-old from Didcot has been cast in a lead role in the BBC's next series of children's classic The Worst Witch.

The Didcot Girls' School pupil is starring alongside Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden as worst witch Mildred Hubble's best friend, Maud Spellbody.

She has been given time off school and is currently spending her weeks filming.

She said: "Being on The Worst Witch is great and I love the experience.

"You make lots of new friends, I am having fun and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

"The best part so far is meeting my onscreen cat, as they are really surprisingly trained, but I miss my friends and family, especially my best friend Libby."

Megan's mum Claire said she had been acting since she was just five years old.

She joined the Performing Angels stage school in Didcot paid her dues doing local plays and pantos.

Last year she was headhunted by a London agent who quickly started getting Megan roles in short films.

At Easter this year Mrs Hughes got a call from Megan's agent asking if they could get to London the next day for an audition with CBBC.

Mrs Hughes remembered: "We took her down and there were about 10 other girls, and just to be there was amazing."

After a further audition in Manchester Mrs Hughes got a phone call.

She said: "Her agent phoned me up and said 'are you sitting down?' – they'd offered her the part."

Megan was whisked off to start filming, and she is now spending her weeks filming and coming back to see her mum and dad Lee at weekends.

Mrs Hughes said: "She's having an amazing time. When we first picked her up from Manchester, for the first hour-and-half hours we couldn't shut her up.

"She phones us every night and is really happy, really positive even though she must be exhausted."

Megan will keep filming until mid-August, then will have to put her magical new life behind her and be a normal schoolgirl again in September.

The series is due to be shown in January.

Asked how she felt to have one daughter who was a charity champion and another who was a TV star, Mrs Hughes said: "We're incredibly proud of both our girls.

"Some people have asked us 'what are your parenting tips?' but we haven't parented them to do what they do: we're just very lucky."

Courtney also said she was really proud of her little sister.

Looking to the future Megan said she would like to try more television roles and keep learning as an actor.