Helena Bonham Carter Defies Ageism and Sexism In Her BAFTA-Nominated Role as Noele "Nolly" Gordon



Both outrageously fun and a powerful statement on ageism and sexism in the 1970s and ‘80s, the recently released, female-led dramatic mini-series Nolly is coming to VisionTV. Academy Award® nominee and BAFTA winner Helena Bonham Carter stars in the 3-part BBC series premiering Wednesdays, June 12, 19 & 26, 2024 at 9pm ET / 6pm PT.







In the 1960s and ‘70s Noele “Nolly” Gordon reigned supreme as one of the most famous faces and actors on British television. She starred as the lead in the long running British soap opera Crossroads for nearly two decades (1964 – 1981) winning over fans with her vivacious persona. She was deeply loved by her fans, which is why it came as a huge surprise to all when she was unceremoniously sacked from the soap out of the blue. After that devastation, Gordon made a triumphant return to the live theatre stage, where it all started for her from her studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the mid-1930s to appearing in 685 performances of the original London production of Brigadoon in 1949.

Created by producer/screenwriter Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who, Queer as Folk), Nolly explores how women are often cast aside as they age in show business. The mini-series chronicles Gordon’s journey to reclaim her power, all of which inspired Helena Bonham Carter to get involved in the project. “I feel like championing her, I’m championing every woman of a certain age,” she notes, “We might just be cut off because we’re deemed too old. Hang on, we can’t be irrelevant and obsolete – we’re just getting to know how to do everything!”

Today, Gordon is known as a trailblazer in TV, becoming the first woman to appear on colour television and the first woman to interview a sitting prime minister. Bonham Carter believes Gordon was fired from Crossroads because she was a strong opinionated woman who was seen as “difficult”.

“She was cleverer than all the suits,” says Bonham Carter. “She knew how to make the show work. She was literally calling the shots. Had it been now, I think she would have been directing and producing very, very quickly.”

Bonham Carter has had an illustrious career herself, starring in both critically acclaimed and commercial hit films such as Fight Club, The King’s Speech, Les Miserables and the Harry Potter series. In recent years she’s ventured further into television, portraying Princess Margaret in the Netflix series The Crown. She earned two Oscar nominations for her roles in The King’s Speech and The Wings of the Dove. Her BAFTA win came in 2010 from The King’s Speech and she was nominated for a 2024 BAFTA for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work in Nolly.

In November 1981, Noele Gordon was interviewed by British TV celebrity interviewer Russell Harty for his live television show. Here’s a look at the star’s frank and charming chat with Harty just after her firing from Crossroads and just before she returned to the London stage in Gypsy. Sadly, it became known in 1982 that Gordon was suffering from cancer and after two major surgeries, she succumbed to the disease in 1985 at the age of 65.

You won’t want to miss Helena Bonham Carter’s fantastic performance in this wildly entertaining story. Nolly airs Wednesdays at 9pm ET, in 3 parts on June 12, 19 & 26, 2024.

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