Helena Bonham Carter looks unrecognisable in an auburn wig while filming in Manchester for ITVs


Helena Bonham Carter continues to film scenes as Crossroads icon Noele Gordon while wearing auburn wig for ITV series Nolly in Manchester

She has been in Manchester for the past few weeks, shooting for a new ITV drama. 

And Helena Bonham Carter donned an auburn wig as she transformed into Crossroads icon Noele Gordon to continue filming Nolly in Manchester on Monday.

The actress, 56, slipped into a beige longline coat covering up an eye catching blue and black dress. 

Filming: Helena Bonham Carter donned an auburn wig as she transformed into Crossroads icon Noele Gordon to continue filming Nolly in Manchester on Monday

Icon: Noele is widely known for starring on soap opera Crossroads from 1964 to 1983

Filming: Helena Bonham Carter, (left) donned an auburn wig as she transformed into Crossroads icon Noele Gordon to continue filming Nolly in Manchester on Monday

She seemed in high spirits as she was spotted getting into a vintage Ford car and driving away. 

Helena elevated her frame wearing a towering pair of red and black heels while carrying a large tan handbag.

Three part drama Nolly, penned by Russell T Davies, will explore the all-powerful reign and fall from grace of the inimitable Noele Gordon, who died in 1985. 

Transformation: The actress, 56, slipped into a beige longline coat covering up an eye catching blue and black dress

Transformation: The actress, 56, slipped into a beige longline coat covering up an eye catching blue and black dress

While filming scenes in character outside a theatre, the star wore a bold red lipstick as she hid the rest of her face under a pair of round sunglasses. 

Between takes she was spotted holding onto a coffee while speaking to the production team. 

Last week, while filming as Noele she arrived at the theatre too watch her friend Larry Grayson.

Noele was declared the ‘Queen of the Midlands’ thanks to iconic role as Meg Mortimer in Crossroads and was the darling of the establishment until it turned on her.  

In character: While filming scenes in character outside a theatre, the star wore a bold red lipstick as she hid the rest of her face under a pair of round sunglasses

In character: While filming scenes in character outside a theatre, the star wore a bold red lipstick as she hid the rest of her face under a pair of round sunglasses

As flame-haired widow Meg in the long-running soap opera Crossroads, Noele became one of the most famous people in Britain.

Then in 1981, at the height of the show’s success and the peak of her fame, she was axed without ceremony, without warning and with no explanation, with the soap eventually ending two years later.

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

Chic: Between takes she was spotted holding onto a coffee while speaking to the production team

Chic: Between takes she was spotted holding onto a coffee while speaking to the production team

A love letter to a legend of television, and to the madcap soap she starred in, Nolly will be an entertaining ride through Noele’s most tumultuous years, and a sharp, affectionate and heart-breaking portrait of a forgotten icon.

Of the role, 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.’

Nolly has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill, who commented: ‘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.

Wow: Helena elevated her frame wearing a towering pair of red and black heels while carrying a large tan handbag

Wow: Helena elevated her frame wearing a towering pair of red and black heels while carrying a large tan handbag

‘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!’

Noele, who had previously had multiple roles in the theatre before landing her part in Crossroads, played Meg from 1964 to 1981, and later returned for a two-episode stint in 1983.

Old fashioned: She seemed in high spirits as she was spotted getting into a vintage Ford car and driving away

Old fashioned: She seemed in high spirits as she was spotted getting into a vintage Ford car and driving away

After she was dropped from the show, Noele’s ill health prevented her from accepting many more roles, and she died in 1985 at the age of 66.

However the casting of Helena in the titular role hasn’t gone down well with everyone. Angela Webb, 64, who played Iris Scott in the drama from 1980 to 1985, told The Express: ‘This is really bizarre. Someone writing a biopic of her who didn’t know or experience her… I do worry.’

‘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.’

The plot: Three part drama Nolly, penned by Russell T Davies, will explore the all-powerful reign and fall from grace of the inimitable Noele Gordon, who died in 1985

The plot: Three part drama Nolly, penned by Russell T Davies, will explore the all-powerful reign and fall from grace of the inimitable Noele Gordon, who died in 1985

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