Crossroads star slams Helena Bonham Carter's casting in ITV's new Noele Gordon drama

A CROSSROADS star has slammed Helena Bonham Carter's casting in ITV's new drama about Noele Gordon.

It was revealed last month that The Crown actress would play Noele in Nolly, a three-part series exploring her all-powerful reign, and subsequent fall from grace on the classic ITV soap.

However, Angela Webb, who played Iris Scott from 1980 to 1985 on Crossroads, has spoken out against Helena's casting in the Russell T Davies drama.

The 64-year-old told The Express: "This is really bizarre. Someone writing a biopic of her who didn't know or experience her… I do worry."

Angela continued: "She wouldn't be my first choice. Nolly was statuesque and strong, Celticlike, with piercing blue eyes.

"Helena is tiny, dark-haired, dark-eyed. I hope she's met people who knew Noele and gets advice about the presence that she had. I'd be hugely up for that."

Noele – known as Nolly to her friends – was a legend in her own lifetime.

As flame-haired widow Meg Richardson in the long-running soap pera Crossroads, she was one of the most famous people in Britain.

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Then in 1981, at the height of the show’s success and the peak of Nolly’s fame, she was axed without ceremony, without warning and with no explanation.

With the boss’s words “all good things must come to an end” ringing in her ears, Noele Gordon found herself thrown out of the show that was her life for over 18 years.

Recalling how lovely Noele was to work with, Angela said: "Nolly was really kind to me and took me under her wing. She always made me feel safe. Everybody loved her, and her departure was hugely sad.

"It was awful. Like the head of a family suddenly leaving. Nolly was absolutely devastated and soon after she had cancer. It killed Crossroads and killed her."

Noele died from stomach cancer aged 65 in April 1985.

When her casting was announced, Helena, 55, said: "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.”

Nolly will go into production next year.

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