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Russell T Davies says Helena Bonham Carter’s casting in Nolly was a “miracle”

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Russell T Davies thought there “wouldn’t be a chance in the world” of securing Helena Bonham Carter for Nolly. The three-part series, set in 1981, tells the true story of Noele Gordon (known as ‘Nolly’ to her friends), the legendary star of Crossroads who was shockingly axed from the long-running BBC soap opera at the height of its success – and at the peak of her fame – without any explanation.

Nolly played the fierce matriarch Meg Mortimer/Richardson for 18 years, before starring in various stage roles in her later career.

In 1985, she passed away from stomach cancer. Written by Davies and directed by Peter Hoar, who memorably helmed It’s A Sin and the latest episode of The Last of Us, Nolly explores the aftermath of her sacking and how the entertainment industry exerts control over powerful women and their success, whilst paying homage to the soap opera genre.

Nolly has received universal critical acclaim, with praise aimed at Carter’s performance, Hoar’s direction and Davies’ script.

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