BBC to publish Witch magazine for Disney

Rights to publish a UK edition of one of the world’s largest-selling magazines have been snapped up by BBC Worldwide, the commercial wing of the corporation.

Witch, which is published in 68 countries globally, will be produced by BBC Worldwide in early 2005 and will join the BBC’s existing franchise deals with the US entertainment giant.

The news comes amid increasing speculation about the long-term future of the BBC’s commercial arm, which produces magazines to accompany a number of BBC programmes such as Top Gear and Gardeners’ World.

A BBC spokeswoman said further details on the launch would be revealed toward the end of 2004.

Existing deals with BBC Worldwide include Disney’s Animated Adventures, which was launched in 2003, and Disney Girl and Disney Big Time, both of which the BBC took control of in 2002.