Helena Bonham Carter to play Crossroads star in ITV drama

Actress Noele Gordon, is reunited with Crossroads co-stars Jane Rossington and Tony Adams

Actress Noele Gordon, who played the former motel boss "Meg Mortimer" in Crossroads, is reunited with her screen daughter Jill (played by Jane Rossington), left, and her husband Adam Chance (played by Tony Adams), on their Italian honeymoon - Credit: PA

Helena Bonham Carter is to star as Crossroads actress Noele Gordon in a three-part ITV drama exploring her rise and fall.

Bafta winner Bonham Carter, of Belsize Park, is "thrilled to help tell her long overdue and largely forgotten story".

Helena-Bonham-Carter in the press room at the Women in Film and TV Awards 2019 at the Hilton, Park L

Helena-Bonham-Carter in the press room at the Women in Film and TV Awards 2019 at the Hilton, Park Lane, London. - Credit: PA

Gordon, known to her friends as Nolly, played widow Meg Richardson in the long-running soap between 1964 and 1981, when she was sacked unexpectedly.

ITV describes the drama as “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”.

Noele Gordon as left, Meg Richardson in Crossroads, and right, in 1983 outside the Victoria Palace Theatre

Noele Gordon as left, Meg Richardson in Crossroads, and right, in 1983 outside the Victoria Palace Theatre where she starred in Call Me Madam - Credit: PA

The episodes will show how Gordon was both “tough, haughty and imperious” but also hard-working and “fiercely loyal” – and why she was sacked one day.

In 1985, new Crossroads producer Phillip Bowman was reportedly planning to bring back the character of Richardson.

PA News Photo 27/11/81 Noele Gordon in her role in "Gypsy" at the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester

PA News Photo 27/11/81 Noele Gordon in her role in "Gypsy" at the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester - Credit: PA

However, Gordon died in April that year at the age of 65 with stomach cancer.

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Russell T Davies, whose credits include Doctor Who and It’s A Sin, has written the script and Peter Hoar will direct.

Helena Bonham Carter arrives for the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards at the TV Centre, Wood Lane, Londo

Helena Bonham Carter arrives for the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards at the TV Centre, Wood Lane, London. Picture date: Sunday June 6, 2021. - Credit: PA

Bafta winner Bonham Carter, of Belsize Park, said: “Noele Gordon was a fascinating, complex, brilliant and gutsy woman – none of which I knew before I read Russell T Davies’ script.

"Russell’s screenplay is a work of brilliance and I hope I’ll do him and Nolly justice. I can’t wait to start.”

Davies said: “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.”

Noelle Gordon was voted Top TV Personality by readers of The Sun in 1975

Noelle Gordon was voted Top TV Personality by readers of The Sun in 1975 - Credit: PA

The series will be produced by Quay Street Productions, the first drama under Nicola Shindler’s new production banner with ITV Studios.

Shindler said: “I couldn’t be prouder or more excited that the first drama we will be filming for Quay Street Productions is this beautiful script by Russell T Davies.

“And that Helena Bonham Carter will star as such an iconic British woman is dream casting.”

Production on Nolly will begin in 2022.

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