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Crossroads star hits out over casting of Helena Bonham Carter for new drama


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Angela Webb disagrees with the casting of Helena Bonham Carter and has branded the decision to dramatise Noele Gordon’s decline as ‘really bizarre’

Crossroads star hits out over casting of Helena Bonham Carter for new drama
Crossroads star hits out over casting of Helena Bonham Carter for new drama

A Crossroads star has hit out over the new drama about soap icon Noele Gordon and the casting of Helena Bonham Carter for the role.

The show will cover the downfall of the actor, who was sacked in 1981 after playing motel owner Meg Richardson in the hit ITV programme for 18 years.

Gordon later died from stomach cancer in 1985, aged just 65.

The three-parter entitled Nolly, which was Noele’s nickname, is the creation of new Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies.

Angela Webb, who played Iris Scott in Crossroads, branded the decision to dramatise the star’s decline “really bizarre”.







Angela Webb as Iris Scott, David Moran as Kevin Banks and Margaret John as Marion Owen
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Image:

ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

She said: “Someone writing a biopic who didn’t know or experience her… I do worry. I fear this is going to have many ups and downs.”

Webb, 64, who as Iris once won a Most Hated Character On TV award, said Bonham Carter would not have been her first choice for the role.

She added: “Nolly was quite statuesque and strong, Celtic-like, with piercing blue eyes.

“Helena is tiny, dark-haired, dark-eyed. It’s a challenge for the make-up department.”







Noele Gordon with Jack Barton reading script January 1979
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Image:

Daily Record)

Webb hopes the portrayal does Gordon justice and would be willing to give Bonham Carter advice.

She recalled how the star looked after her when she was in her 20s.

Webb said: “Nolly, despite being a household name, was really kind to me and took me under her wing.

“Everybody loved her and her departure was hugely sad. It was awful.

“Nolly was absolutely devastated and soon after she had cancer. It killed Crossroads and killed her.”

Bonham Carter previously told how she wanted to restore Gordon among TV’s greats.

She said: “Noele was a fascinating, complex, brilliant and gutsy woman. I’m so thrilled to help tell Nolly’s largely forgotten story.”

After her dramatic sacking, Gordon revealed she had wept all night.

She later appeared in the theatre but was persuaded to return to the soap in 1983 for two guest appearances.







Helena Bonham Carter
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Image:

Getty Images)

ITV’s head of Drama Polly Hill said the new drama would try to answer questions about the Queen of the Midlands’ exit from Crossroads, which ran from 1964 to 1988 then 2001 to 2003.

She added: “Nolly reveals the truth, the consequences and the legacy of that terrible day.”

Davies said one of his first TV jobs was a trial script for Crossroads.

He added: “I’ve wanted to write the story of behind the scenes on that show for 40 years.”

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