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'Nolly' starring Helena Bonham Carter — everything we know about the new drama about Noele Gordon

Nolly star Helena Bonham Carter on the red carpet
Helena Bonham Carter will take the lead role in 'Nolly'. (Image credit: Getty)

Forty years after Noele Gordon’s shock sacking from Crossroads, ITV has commissioned Nolly, a three-part drama starring Academy Award-nominated and BAFTA-winning actor Helena Bonham Carter. 

Nolly shines a spotlight on 1980s TV icon Noele Gordon, the Queen of the Midlands, a star who could be tough, haughty, and imperious, grandly sweeping into rehearsals from her Rolls Royce, but also a hard-working actress who was fiercely loyal and loved by cast and crew alike. 

And at last, the biggest question of all can be answered — why was she sacked from Crossroads so abruptly? Nolly reveals the truth, the consequences, and the legacy of that terrible day.

Speaking of the new show, ITV Head of Drama Polly Hill says: “Russell’s scripts are magnificent and a great tribute to Noele Gordon, but also to our national love of soaps and a celebration of the incredible women they create. Helena Bonham Carter is going to be amazing as Nolly and we can’t wait for her to step into those shoes.”

Nolly has been written by BAFTA-winning writer Russell T Davies, known for his work on It’s A Sin, Years and Years, A Very English Scandal, and Queer as Folk. Speaking of Nolly, Russell says: “One of my very first jobs in TV was a trial script for Crossroads, and I've wanted to write the story of behind the scenes on that show for 40 years. At last, the truth can be told!”

When does 'Nolly' air?

Nolly goes into production in 2022 so we have got a bit of a wait before it arrives on ITV. We will update this guide as soon as an air date is confirmed. 

What is the plot of 'Nolly'?

As well as delving into the past to find out why Noele Gordon was sacked from Crossroads without warning, this new ITV drama is also a bold exploration of how the establishment turns on women who refuse to play by the rules, the women it cannot understand and the women it fears. The drama is also a love letter to a legend of television, and to the madcap soap she starred in. 

An ITV press statement adds: "Nolly is an outrageously fun and wildly entertaining ride through Noele Gordon’s most tumultuous years and a sharp, affectionate and heartbreaking portrait of a forgotten icon."

Who was Noele Gordon?

Noele Gordon in Crossroads

(Image credit: ITV)

Noele, or Nolly to her friends, was a legend in her own lifetime. As flame-haired widow Meg Richardson in the long-running soap opera Crossroads, she was one of the most famous people in Britain. 

Then in 1981, at the height of the show’s success and the peak of Nolly’s fame, she was axed without ceremony, without warning, and with no explanation. With the boss’s words “all good things must come to an end” ringing in her ears, Noele Gordon found herself thrown out of the show that was her life for over 18 years.

Who is in the cast of 'Nolly'?

Helena Bonham Carter, known for her roles in The Crown, The King’s Speech, Harry Potter, and Burton and Taylor will take the lead as Noele Gordon. 

Speaking of her new role, Helena said: “Noele Gordon was a fascinating, complex, brilliant and gutsy woman — none of which I knew before I read Russell T Davies’ script. 

"I’m so thrilled to help tell Nolly’s long overdue and largely forgotten story. Russell’s screenplay is a work of brilliance and I hope I’ll do him and Nolly justice. I can’t wait to start.”

Is there a trailer for 'Nolly'?

Not yet, the drama starts filming in 2022, so as soon as there is a trailer released we will update this guide.