Nolly News

Latest Noele Gordon stories…

Crossroads Wedding Party Album to be Released for the First Time Since 1975

Stage Door Records has announced the re-release of the ‘Crossroads Wedding Party Album,’ Due on sale in January 2024 it is the first time the album has been released on CD.

A merchandise tie-in to the popular daily soap opera, Crossroads, the release was one of several items issued to celebrate the moment viewers had been waiting over a decade to see – Motel owner Meg tie the knot with her on-off businessman lover Hugh. Originally issued by PYE Records, then part of the ATV empire, to mark the on-screen wedding of Meg Richardson played by Noele Gordon and Hugh Mortimer portrayed by John Bentley, it has only ever been available on vinyl record or cassette audio tape.

The Crossroads cast performs tracks along with guest performers such as Larry Grayson and Stephanie De Sykes while Noele and John also get to duet. Numbers include We’ll Find Our Day which features in the wedding party episode of Crossroads where the married couple celebrate with friends at the Droitwich Hotel (Chateau Impney, Droitwich) and It’s Been A Long Long Day. It is also the only release which contains the Tony Hatch Crossroads Theme in stereo. The album also contains ‘highlights’ from episode 2301 recorded at Birmingham Cathedral where Meg and Hugh are blessed to a packed St Phillips while 10,000 fans outside bring the city to a standstill.

There are also a couple of new to the album ‘bonus tracks’ from 1977, with Paul Henry’s ‘Benny’s Theme‘ added with both the vocal and instrumental versions included. Written by Simon May (EastEnders Theme) the song was part of the storyline which saw Benny’s girlfriend knocked down by a car and killed just before their wedding.

Licensed from BMG Rights Management (UK), the album has been digitally remastered from the original master tapes. The CD release is a limited edition pressing of 500 units only. The CD is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

The re-release of the Crossroads Wedding Party Album not only caters to the nostalgia of those who cherished it in the ’70s but arrives at a time when Noele Gordon has undergone reappraisal and resurgence thanks to Russell T Davies’ three-part drama on the life of the performer in Nolly. Starring Helena Bonham Carter the series is currently streaming on ITVX and STV Player in the UK and will air on the main ITV channel later this month.


Four Royal Television Society NW award  wins for ‘Nolly’ drama

RTS North West held their annual gong show for the TV industry this week and it was a bumper win for ITV’s Nolly drama about the life of Noele Gordon.

The big win was for ‘Best Drama’ with the Quay Street Production taking the gong. Nolly was up against Maternal (ITV Studios), Ralph & Katie (ITV Studios / Keshet Productions / Tiger Aspect. Helena Bonham Carter also picked up ‘Best Performance in a Drama’ for her portrayal of Noele Gordon (And Meg Richardson). Helena was nominated alongside Leon Harrop (Ralph & Katie), Sarah Gordy (Ralph & Katie) and Lola Blue (A Kind of Spark).

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies took home the ‘Best Script Writer‘ award for his fictional interpretation of Noele’s life which was mixed with factual events including her work with John Logie Baird in the 1940s and her dismissal from ATV in the 1980s. Others nominated for the gong included Danny Brocklehurst for Brassic and Morwenna Banks for Funny Woman. Finally, Nolly’s fourth win was for ‘Best Visual Post Production‘. The award went to Paul Ensby at Picture Shop for his work with Quay Street Productions on the three-part drama.


ITV confirm ‘Nolly’ drama to air in December

The story of Noele Gordon in the three-part ITV drama ‘Nolly’ will air as part of the Christmas schedules of ITV1 and STV this year. The episodes have been penned by BAFTA-winning writer Russell T Davies, who has given television viewers hits such as Queer as Folk, It’s A Sin, Cucumber and the revival of Doctor Who. Noele is played by BAFTA-winning performer Helena Bonham Carter CBE.

Noele and the Jerry Allen Trio on Lunch Box, from the Noele Gordon Archive

‘Nolly’ – Noele’s affectionate nickname – looks across the highs of her career as well as the massive shock of 1981 when she made the front pages of the UK newspapers following the announcement ATV had decided she was no longer required after 26 years.

Speaking to ITV News Helena noted “I think she probably was one of the most famous women in Britain. Not only was she the star of this hugely popular soap – Crossroads – but she also did quite a few pioneering things. I think a lot of women, professional women, owe her a lot for having ploughed the way.” She added, “You have to get it right. At the end of the day I’m not Noele Gordon I was just trying to capture a sort of essence and all that was appropriate to tell Russell’s story.”


Greatest TV series celebrates Noele Gordon

Channel 5 series ‘The Greatest TV of…’ has along with many other big names and television shows of the sixties and seventies celebrated the work of Noele Gordon.

In The Greatest TV of the 60s, Nolly’s pioneering work is reflected on, including Lunch Box. There is also a look at the launch of Crossroads. In the following edition, The Greatest TV of the 70s there is a more in-depth look at Crossroads and Noele’s popularity in the decade. The final episode, The Greatest TV of the 80s the programme reflects on the shock departure of Nolly from ATV in 1981.

Names taking part and talking about Noele include Sharon Marshall, Christopher Biggins, Sherrie Hewson, Anne Diamond, Cheryl Baker and Debbie McGee.


BAFTA win for Nolly and Russell T. Davies

Russell T. Davies has won ‘Best Writer’ for his drama Nolly at the BAFTA Wales Awards 2023. Russell was up against Joe Barton for The Lazarus Project, Pete McTighe for The Pact and Roger Williams for Y Sŵn. Nolly looks at the life of Noele Gordon across the years, centring on her dismissal from ATV in 1981 after 25 years with the company.


More nominations for Nolly

The drama has two nominations in the TV Times Awards 2023, the first time ‘Noele Gordon’ has been listed in the TVT gongs since 1978. This time Helena Bonham-Carter is nominated for her role as Noele in the Favourite Actor (drama) category. Augustus Prew is nominated in a supporting role for his performance as Tony Adams.

Also, the music for the Quay Street Production by Scottish composer Blair Mowat has been nominated at The Music+Sound Awards. Blair and Nolly are one of the finalists hoping to pick up ‘Best Original Composition in a Television Programme’

Blair said of the nomination, Great to be alongside such brilliant talent, including the maestro Hans Zimmer himself. A huge thank you to the jury. That has truly made my week.” The soundtrack is available to download digitally or stream from all the usual places.

Mowat explains the thought behind the tracks: “It’s a period piece and so it felt quite fitting to take on elements of musical theatre or the lush orchestral style of classic Hollywood. Tracks such as ‘The Prime Minister’ or ‘Visiting Larry’ deliberately evoke a bygone era… Percussion is perhaps our most important instrument throughout. Russell writes so musically and his scripts have a real sense of rhythm to them. Therefore, maintaining a sense of drive and momentum for certain moments is crucial. Peter’s stylistic directing approach meant the score could have quite a lot of variation and oddness without feeling out of place.

Noele and the ‘Lunch Box’ car, from the Noele Gordon Archive

“Drum kits and shakers are often combined with banjo, tuba, saxophone, jazz flute and soft vibes. You’ll find samba piano rhythms, Venetian violin solos and full swing bands juxtaposed by a lush 40-piece string orchestra – yet somehow it all hangs together through the use of musical themes and variations. That ostinato which pulls and clashes either side of Eb Major keeps us grounded throughout the journey of the score, no matter what style or instrumentation we find ourselves in.”


Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz officially marks the topping out of Noele Gordon House

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz officially marked the topping out of Noele Gordon House in East Ham – the place of Nolly’s birth and early years. The ceremony took place in July 2023. The development, on the former Hartley Centre site, will contain 75 high-quality later-living council homes specifically designed for London Borough of Newham residents over 55 on the housing waiting list, alongside a 1600sqm health centre.

The homes at Noele Gordon House are designed to industry-leading ‘Housing an Ageing Population Panel for Innovation’ principles which meet the needs and aspirations of older residents. The 75 homes will provide older council tenants with an opportunity to downsize into more manageable accommodation. This in turn will help free up more family homes for those on Newham’s housing waiting list.

Architects Mae is working with Populo Living and the Hill Group UK in building high-quality accommodation for elderly council tenants and helping to free up existing homes to families on Newham’s waiting list.


Nolly NTA Gongs

The longlist for the 2023 National Television Awards has been released and Nolly has two nominations, surprisingly, as the drama has yet to air on terrestrial television in the UK.

The drama about the life of Noele Gordon, which centres on her departure from Crossroads in 1981, has been listed in the category for ‘Best New Drama’ while Helena Bonham Carter has been nominated for ‘Best Drama Performance’ for her role as Noele Gordon. The Russell T. Davies penned three-part drama was launched on streaming service ITVX in February this year.

It was met with critical and viewer praise, and ‘brought Noele Gordon and her pioneering career back into the spotlight after forty years’. The drama, along with a documentary, The Real Nolly, will air on ITV1 and STV later this year – meaning it may air too late for TV viewers to vote for it into the NTAs.


Crossroads: The Noele Gordon Collection has sold out. Network Releasing confirmed that the release, which contains all surviving ATV episodes of Crossroads between 1965 and 1981, has entirely sold all stock. The limited edition release was on sale for £130 and had over 700 episodes and a collection of special extras.


The soundtrack to ITVX/ITV drama Nolly will drop on all good streaming platforms on the 17th of March. The music by Scottish composer Blair Mowat is released by Silva Screen Records.

Blair Mowat says of the music: “It was clear from the start this was a passion project for Russell and so it became a passion project for all of us too. We also fell in love with Noele and it became personal in honouring her memory. ‘Looking Back On Life’ was the final cue I composed and as I looked back over Noele’s life I found myself shedding a tear more than once. There aren’t many projects that have you sobbing over your piano, but this was one of them. We weren’t just making television, it felt like we were righting a wrong, and I’ll treasure the experience of being involved forever.”

Blair Mowat has composed well over two hundred scores for film, theatre and television, with clients ranging from the English National Ballet and The Royal Shakespeare Company to the likes of the BBC and ITV. He is a BAFTA-nominated, 4Talent short-listed, award-winning composer with over 15 years of experience, and is consistently in high demand.


Newham Council has announced that a residential building in East Ham, Nolly’s birthplace, is to be named after Noele Gordon.  “We’ve named a block of new council homes being built in East Ham after [Noele] – part of our original programme to build 1,000 council homes. Our new programme is to deliver a further 1,500 homes.”

The block of 75 new Later Living council homes is currently being built on the former Hartley Centre on Barking Road, which will be named ‘Noele Gordon House’. It’s a short distance from the home Noele grew up in as a child. The flats are due to be completed early next year.


Network Releasing is to issue The Noele Gordon Collection of Crossroads. The 94 discs will feature all surviving Crossroads content from 1964 through to December 1981 and Noele’s return for two episodes in 1983.

A personal snap of Noele Gordon, from her archive collection

‘A television legend, Crossroads was one of ITV’s most popular shows.

‘Starring the immortal Noele Gordon as Meg Richardson, the trials and tribulations of the Midlands’ premier motel, its staff and patrons enthralled, amused and sometimes horrified millions of viewers for the best part of three decades!

‘A huge presence on ITV from the 1950s onwards, Gordon consistently won viewer awards through the ’60s and ’70s for both her own performance and for the series with which she is forever linked.’ – Network

We would also like to offer our condolences to the lovely team at Network on the recent passing of their founder and boss Tim Beddows who with great affection released several Crossroads DVDs over the years.


ITVX has released a clip of Helena Bonham Carter as Noele Gordon in the drama Nolly. A powerful interpretation of the moment Noele spoke to the press outside the ATV rehearsal rooms in the summer of 1981 as news she had been dropped from Crossroads spread across the media.

The fabulous clip gives a glimpse of Russell T Davies’ “love letter” to Noele and her time with ATV on Britain’s first daily half-hour soap opera. The clip, and a Q&A with the team behind the drama, Quay Street Productions, can be seen on ITV.com


2022 and classic episodes of Crossroads are now available on the ITV Hub / ITVX for free to view. Some of the best-recalled editions are on the service including the 1975 wedding of Meg and Hugh, the Motel fire of 1981 and Meg’s final major episode when she sailed away on the QE2.


In 2022 ITV will produce a three-part drama entitled simply ‘Nolly‘. described as a ‘love letter’ to Noele Gordon the episodes have been penned by BAFTA-winning writer Russell T Davies, who has given television viewers hits such as Queer as Folk, It’s A Sin, Cucumber and the revival of Doctor Who. Noele will be played by BAFTA-winning performer Helena Bonham Carter CBE.


2021 and classic episodes of Crossroads featuring Noele Gordon are now available on BritBox UK in the SoapBox section. In July, August, September and October 2021 Crossroads was the most streamed soap opera on the service according to its ‘top shows listings’.


Noele Gordon in Call Me Madam

2021 also saw Channel 5 once again reflect on the shock departure of Noele from Crossroads in 1981 with fellow Crossroads performers Steven Pinder and Graham Seed discussing her exit from ATV.


In 2019 the West End musical On The Town was released on CD, featuring Noele tracks that have been played on local radio as well as on BBC Radio 2.


2019 saw Radio 2 mark the 100th birthday of Noele Gordon with a special feature during The Paul O’Grady Show.

The special saw Paul reflect on Nolly’s professional career and life, as well as play a couple of her records.


In 2018 Channel 5 looked at the sacking of Noele from ATV in ‘The Most Shocking Celebrity Moments of the 1980s’ with Christopher Biggins, Tony Adams and Anne Diamond all reflecting on her demise from the network.


In 2015 a clip of Noele in Crossroads featured in a Julie Walters-fronted Vision Express advert looking back at programmes and people who had influenced her creative performances.


In 2012 ITV celebrated Noele with a prime-time half-hour celebration of her work in The Unforgettable Noele Gordon.

The series gained over 3.2 million viewers on ITV in England and Wales with later showings on STV and UTV making it one of the most-watched of the Unforgettable editions of the 2012 run with these offerings up against BBC One’s EastEnders.