‘Nolly’ first look: Helena Bonham Carter stars as ’70s TV icon in new drama

ITV’s new series from the creator of It’s Sin has started filming.

Fresh from his success with Channel 4’s award-winning mini-series, Welsh screenwriter Russell T Davies is returning to the 1980s with his next project.

Nolly will explore “the all-powerful reign, and fall from grace, of the inimitable Noele Gordon, TV legend and Queen of the Midlands, the darling of the establishment until it turned on her and betrayed her.”

Watch some of Noele Gordon’s best moments in Crossroads here:

Leading the three-part drama’s cast as Noele Gordon is Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech).

Bonham Carter was most recently on our screens playing Princess Margaret in the third and fourth seasons of The Crown.

Discussing her new role in Nolly last year, the 56-year-old English actress commented: “Noele Gordon was a fascinating, complex, brilliant and gutsy woman – none of which I knew before I read Russell T Davies’ script.”

She added: “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.”

Joining Bonham Carter in Nolly is Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) as legendary entertainer Larry Grayson.

Augustus Prew (The Morning Show) will be playing Tony Adams, Nolly’s Crossroads co-star, devoted friend, confidante, and her occasional chauffer.

Silent Witness star Richard Lintern is playing Crossroads actor Ronnie Allen, alongside Antonia Bernath (Downton Abbey) as Jane Rossington, Clare Foster (The Crown) as Sue Lloyd, Chloe Harris (The Spanish Princess) as Susan Hanson, and Lloyd Griffith (It’s A Sin) as Paul Henry, who played Crossroads’ handyman Benny.

The official synopsis reads: “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.”

Here’s an official first look at Helena Bonham Carter in costume as Noele Gordon:

The cast also includes Con O’Neill (Happy Valley) as Crossroads producer Jack Barton, and Tim Wallers (Belgravia) as Barton’s boss, Charles Denton.

Nolly will premiere on ITV’s new free streaming service ITVX later this year, before airing on ITV in 2023.

The show is described as “an outrageously fun and wildly entertaining ride through Noele Gordon’s most tumultuous years, and a sharp, affectionate and heart-breaking portrait of a forgotten icon.”

Discussing what made him want to write this new series, writer Russell T Davies explained: “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!”

Davies has also previously written A Very English Scandal, The Grand, and Years & Years.

A Very English Scandal is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.