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Helena Bonham Carter to Play Fired U.K. Soap Queen in Limited Series Nolly

Helena Bonham Carter

Two-time Academy Award nominee Helena Bonham Carter will play a former UK soap star in a new ITV limited series. Nolly comes from Russell T. Davies and producer Nicola Schindler, who previously teamed up on projects like It's a Sin and Queer as Folk. 

According to Variety, Bonham will portray Noele Gordon. The actress was a a fixture of ITV soap opera Crossroads for 18 years before being let go unceremoniously. Bonham Carter said she hadn't heard of Gordon before reviewing the script but felt herself attracted to Gordon's public strugglwith sexism. She explained:

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.

For her haughty demeanor, Gordon earned the moniker of "Queen of the Midlands," but her cast and crew adored her. When she was fired in 1981, the public response was so intense that writers had to write a different ending for her character, Meg Mortimer.

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Shindler said:

What’s extraordinary is that this woman was at the absolute peak of the powers — and this was the biggest show in the country — and she was fired without any kind of explanation, and without any kind of right to respond.

Davies commented:

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 will pen the three-part series, the first project for Shindler's new shingle Quay Street Productions, supported by ITV Studios. Peter Hoar will direct and Karen Lewis will produce. Production will kick off in 2022.