First look: Helena Bonham Carter in Russell T Davies’ Nolly
James R | On 03, Jun 2022
Helena Bonham Carter and Russell T Davies are teaming up for ITV drama Nolly, and a new image gives us first look at her in character.
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.
The series brings the true Noele into the spotlight. 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? Nolly reveals the truth, the consequences, and the legacy of that terrible day.
The three-part series is directed by Peter Hoar (It’s A Sin, The Last of Us, The Umbrella Academy) and is produced by Nicola Shindler (It’s A Sin, Ridley Road).
Helena Bonham Carter stars as Nolly, with the cast also including Augustus Prew (The Morning Show, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power) as Tony Adams, Nolly’s Crossroads co-star, devoted friend, confidante, and her occasional chauffer, Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, League of Gentleman, Doctor Who) as inimitable entertainer Larry Grayson, who also shared a close and enduring friendship with Gordon, and Richard Lintern (Young Wallander, Silent Witness) as Ronnie Allen, who played Crossroads’ suave hotel manager David Hunter. Antonia Bernath (Downton Abbey, Dickensian) also stars as Jane Rossington, who played Jill Richardson in Crossroads, Meg’s daughter. Clare Foster (The Crown, The Ex Wife) is Sue Lloyd, who played Barbara, wife of hotel manager David. Chloe Harris (Sherwood, The Spanish Princess) is Susan Hanson, who played Crossroads fan favourite Miss Diane. Lloyd Griffith (Ted Lasso, It’s A Sin) is Paul Henry, who for over a decade played Crossroads’ handyman Benny.
Con O’Neill (Happy Valley, Uncle) has also joined the cast as Jack Barton, producer of Crossroads, and Tim Wallers (The Windsors, Belgravia) as Barton’s boss, and ATV’s Controller of Programming, Charles Denton. Completing the ensemble is Bethany Antonia (House of the Dragon, Stay Close, Get Even) as Poppy Ngomo, a young actor thrown into the world of Crossroads.
The series will premiere on ITV’s new streaming service ITVX in 2023, before transferring to linear broadcast months later. Filming is now underway.