Helen Bonham Carter is to lead the cast of a new three-part ITV drama about Noele Gordon.

Helena Bonham Carter will play Noele Gordon in new ITV drama Nolly

Helena Bonham Carter will play Noele Gordon in new ITV drama Nolly

'Nolly' is written by Russell T Davies and tells the story of the late actress, who played the iconic, flame-haired widow Meg Richardson in former soap 'Crossroads'.

'Harry Potter' star Helena 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.”

The role made Noele - who died in 1985 aged 65 - one of the biggest household names in Britain, but after 18 years on the show she was axed in 1981 without any warning or explanation, just as she was at the peak of her career.

Her bosses told her: "All good things must come to an end."

The drama comes 40 years after her shock sacking and it will pay homage to the late TV icon.

The series will be produced by Quay Street Productions, and will be the first drama under Nicola Schindler’s new production banner with ITV studios.

ITV's Head of Drama Polly Hill said: “Russell’s scripts are magnificent and a great tribute to Noele Gordon, but also to our national love of soaps and a celebration of the incredible women they create.

"Helena Bonham Carter is going to be amazing as Nolly and we can’t wait for her to step into those shoes.”

Russell said: “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!”