UK 2022, 2x 45 mins
Director: Peter Hoar

+ Q&A with writer Russell T Davies, cast Helena Bonham Carter, Mark Gatiss and Augustus Prew, exec producer Nicola Shindler and director Peter Hoar. Chaired by Boyd Hilton.

Academy Award-nominated and BAFTA-winning actor Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown, Enola Holmes 1 and 2, The King’s Speech, Harry Potter, Burton and Taylor) stars as Noele (or Nolly to her friends), who was a legend in her own lifetime. As flame-haired widow Meg Richardson in the long-running soap opera Crossroads, she was one of the most famous people in Britain. 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.

Nolly is a bold exploration of how the establishment turns on women who refuse to play by the rules, the women it cannot understand and the women it fears. And, it is a love letter to a legend of television, and to the madcap soap she starred in. Nolly is an outrageously fun and wildly entertaining ride through Noele Gordon’s most tumultuous years, and a sharp, affectionate and heartbreaking portrait of a forgotten icon.

Nolly begins streaming on ITVX from 2 February.

About the panel

Russell T Davies was awarded the 2006 Dennis Potter Award at BAFTA for his writing services to television and an OBE in the Queen’s 2008 Birthday Honours list for services to drama.

Russell was born in Swansea in 1963. A graduate of Oxford University, he completed the BBC Director’s course before becoming a TV producer. He started writing whilst working in the Manchester department of Children’s BBC. He has created several award-winning series including the ground-breaking Queer as Folk, Bob and Rose for which he won the British Comedy Award for Writer of the Year and Best Comedy Drama, The Second Coming for which he won the RTS Award for Best Network Drama and Broadcast Award’s Best Single Drama. He went on to revive the classic British science fiction series Doctor Who which received numerous awards and for which Russell won the BAFTA for Best Drama Series, and Torchwood for which he won the BAFTA Cymru for Best Drama Series. He created the trilogy Cucumber, Banana and Tofu for which he won the BAFTA for Best Drama Writer and BPG Innovation Award in 2016. He adapted A Very English Scandal on BBC One for which he won the Rose d’Or Award for Best Limited Series and TV Movie and Broadcast News Award for Drama of the Year 2018. He wrote the 6-part drama Years and Years for BBC One/HBO starring Emma Thompson and Anne Reid and more recently, he wrote the acclaimed 5-part series It’s a Sin for Channel 4/HBO MAX which depicts the lives of a group of gay men and their friends who lived during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the UK, which has received numerous awards. He has recently taken over as showrunner on Doctor Who.

Helena Bonham Carter is currently filming feature film One Life alongside Anthony Hopkins. She is a two-time Academy Award nominee: for her work in The Wings of the Dove and for The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper. She also garnered a Golden Globe nomination and won an Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress for her performance as Mrs Lovett in Tim Burton’s 2009 screen adaptation Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. In 2014 she earned a SAG, BAFTA and Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor in Burton and Taylor for BBC4 and in 2012 was honoured with a CBE from Buckingham Palace. Other notable credits include A Room with a View, Howards End, Fight Club, the Harry Potter franchise, Ocean’s 8 and The Crown, amongst many others.

Mark Gatiss has had a long and varied career as a writer, director and producer behind the camera, as well as being a critically-acclaimed actor and published author. His early success on television was as part of the comedy troupe The League of Gentlemen, for which he both wrote and appeared onscreen as various characters. He had a childhood passion for Doctor Who and both wrote for and starred in the modern revival. He was also the writer and executive producer of An Adventure in Space and Time, a drama of the genesis of the series as part of the show’s 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2013.

Mark is the co-creator and executive producer of Sherlock, the hit BBC series in which he also plays Sherlock’s brother Mycroft Holmes. The show has won a total of nine Emmys and twelve BAFTAs across its four series. Mark’s other writing credits for television include Crooked House (2008), two episodes of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, his adaptation of HG Wells’ The First Men in the Moon (2010), Dracula (2019) and all three episodes of the documentary series A History of Horror (2010) and its one-off sequel Horror Europa (2012), all of which he presented as well. He has also written and presented two BBC art documentaries – one on John Minton and the other on Aubrey Beardsley. Additionally, he has written and directed several short ghost stories for the BBC in recent years including The Tractate Middoth (2013), The Dead Room (2018), Martin’s Close (2019), The Mezzotint (2021) and Count Magnus (2022). In 2017, he curated and directed Queers – a series of eight monologues for BBC Four to mark the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act which saw the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality.

Recent screen acting roles include The Duke of Marlborough in the BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated The Favourite (2018), Disney’s Christopher Robin (2018), BBC One’s Gunpowder (2017), Wolf Hall (2015) and Game of Thrones (2014-2017). He also starred opposite Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman in the Oscar-winning screen adaptation of Florian Zeller’s The Father.

Augustus Prew has recently finished filming the title role in the film Dear David for Lionsgate/BuzzFeed. He can be seen most recently in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series. He played the role of ‘Cameron’ in the Blumhouse Hulu Anthology series, Into the Dark: Midnight Kiss, and Mike Doyle’s film, Sell By. He can currently be seen on Netflix’s Special and Apple’s The Morning Show with Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. Augustus’s television credits include the series lead in CBS’s Pure Genius, the recurring guest star role of ‘Whip’ in FOX’s Prison Break, the title role in Mike White’s HBO pilot Mamma Dallas, and The Borgias for Showtime. He also appeared in the role of ‘Miles’ in the Netflix film Ibiza, High-Rise opposite Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller, Klondike with Richard Madden, Kick-Ass 2 opposite Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Charlie St. Cloud opposite Zac Efron.

Nicola Shindler OBE is a prolific, multi award-winning British television producer, who has worked with some of the most lauded names in television and created some of its most memorable series.

With over 25 years’ experience in television, Nicola has produced some of the UK’s most successful and award-winning dramas, including It’s a Sin (Ch4/ HBO), Harlan Coben’s The Stranger (Netflix), Years and Years (BBC/HBO), Happy Valley (BBC), Queer as Folk (Channel 4), Ridley Road (BBC/ Masterpiece), Traces (UKTV), Last Tango in Halifax (BBC), Butterfly (ITV), Finding Alice (ITV) and most recently Harlan Coben’s Stay Close for Netflix, No Return for ITV, and Traces series 2 for UKTV. Forthcoming series include Nolly and comedic-drama Significant Other starring Katherine Parkinson and Youssef Kerkour, both for ITVX.

In 2019, Nicola was awarded an OBE and took home one of BAFTA’s highest honours, the Special Award, for her services to British Broadcasting. Prior to launching Quay Street Productions in 2021, Nicola founded RED Production Company in 1998, where she was Chief Executive for over 20 years, and she also previously served as chief executive and chief creative officer at StudioCanal UK.

Peter Hoar most recently directed and executive produced It’s a Sin, which aired on Channel 4 in January 2022 to glowing 5* reviews and had over 6.5 million viewers in its first week, making it All 4’s biggest ever drama launch.

Peter directed the pilot and finale of The Umbrella Academy’s first season for Netflix and has directed episodes of Altered Carbon, Iron Fist and Daredevil and The Defenders for Marvel/Netflix as well as two episodes of Cloak & Dagger for Disney. Prior to this, Peter directed the finale of The Last Kingdom and was lead director on The Last Kingdom Season 2 for Carnival Films & BBC 2. He was the Co-Executive Producer/Director on Season 3 of the Starz series Da Vinci’s Demons, having directed 5 episodes of Season 2.

Before that, Peter launched detective drama Shetland for ITV Studios/BBC, which premiered to almost 7 million viewers. He also worked with ITV Studios as lead director on crime drama Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn. Peter was hand-picked by Mistresses co-creator SJ Clarkson to take over as the director of the UK series for the BBC and went on to launch the second season of the show.

Peter also directed the mid-season finale of Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes to War which was the highest requested program on the BBC iPlayer. He directed the closing block of Five Days II, the sequel to the BAFTA nominated original series written by Gwyneth Hughes. Prior to that, Peter directed Breaking the Mould, a single film for the BBC about the discovery of penicillin starring Dominic West. Peter has also directed the opening block of the second season of Silk starring Maxine Peake and Rupert Penry-Jones as well as episodes of Spooks and Wire in the Blood.

Boyd Hilton (chair) is a journalist, author, TV critic and broadcaster. As well as his two day jobs of Entertainment Director of Heat magazine, where he has worked since its launch in 1999, and Contributing Editor of Empire magazine, Boyd also wrote the book Inside Little Britain with Matt Lucas and David Walliams. He has been a regular contributor to BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 4, reviewing television, books and films for over two decades. He is also Features Editor and contributor to sport/style/culture magazine Circle Zero Eight, and has written for GQ, Man About Town, The Guardian and Observer. Boyd also co-hosts the weekly Pilot TV podcast, covering cinematic television, and the Footballistically Arsenal podcast, covering… Arsenal. He also frequently hosts live on-stage TV and film events, panels and Q&As for Bafta, the RTS and the BFI, ITV, BBC, Sky and many others.

Written by: Russell T Davies
Directed by: Peter Hoar
©: ITV Studios Ltd
Production Company: Quay Street Productions
For: ITV
Executive Producers: Russell T Davies, Peter Hoar, Nicola Shindler
Produced by: Karen Lewis
Head of Production: Chris Leach
Line Producer: Rachel Jones
Production Accountant: Gail Stezaker
Production Manager: Louise Lyons
Production Co-ordinator: Ashley Scott
Supervising Location Manager: Mark O’Hanlon
Post Producer: Emily Brauders
Casting Director: Andy Pryor
1st Assistant Director: Amanda Neal
Script Editor: Charlie Quinn
Script Supervisor: Angie Pontefract
Director of Photography: Sam Care
A Camera Operator/Steadicam: Dan Nightingale
Editor: Sarah Brewerton
Visual Effects: Realtime
Production Designer: Ben Smith
Supervising Art Director: Gavin Lewis
Costume Designer: Annie Hardinge
Hair & Make-up Designer: Lin Davie
Music by: Blair Mowat
Sound Recordist: Jonathan Seale
Re-recording Mixer: Mark Briscoe
Supervising Sound Editor: Raoul Brand

Helena Bonham Carter (Noele Gordon)
Con O’Neill (Jack Barton)
Augustus Prew (Tony Adams)
Mark Gatiss (Larry Grayson)
Silvia Presente (young Noele Gordon)
John Mackay (John Logie Baird)
Justine Marriott, Nicholas Chambers (autograph hunters)
Bethany Antonia (Poppy Ngomo)
Amy Booth-Steel (Liz)
Sally Mason (Beverley, props girl)
Tom Bell (Rodney, director)
Jo Smith-Sutherland (Sandra, P.A.)
Lloyd Griffith (Paul Henry)
Clare Foster (Sue Lloyd)
Antonia Bernath (Jane Rossington)
Richard Lintern (Ronnie Allen)
Chloe Harris (Susan Hanson)
Dan Hagley (Keith, floor manager)
Patrick Toomey (announcer)
Donna Berlin (passer-by)
Max Brown (Michael Summerton)
Tim Wallers (Charles Denton)
Sophie Bould (newsreader)
Nichola June (secretary 1)
Janet Walker (secretary 2)
Gordon Kane (Angus Lennie)
Nicholas Gecks (Harold Macmillan)
Zita Sattar (Iris Chatterjee)
Sam Dale (Brian Badcoe)
Tom Bonington (vicar)
Omari Douglas (Bruce)
Rina Fatania (Shabna)
Jacki Piper (Barbara)
Jackie Knowles (Linda)
Matthew Bates (Eric)
Ryan Walker-Edwards (conductor)

UK 2022©
2x c.45 mins

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16-19 Feb
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Relaxed Screening: The Hidden Fortress + intro & discussion
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Member Picks: Sunshine
Thu 2 Feb 18:15
Seniors: The Long Memory + intro and Q&A with film historian Marcus Powell
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Shadow + intro and discussion
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Art in the Making: Edward Hopper + intro by Steven Foxon, Curator BFI National Archive + Night Work
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Projecting the Archive: I’ll Get You for This (aka Lucky Nick Cain) + intro by Rosie Taylor, Curatorial Archivist, BFI National Archive
Tue 21 Feb 18:20
Experimenta: Right of Way + Q&A with artists Dan Guthrie, Ufuoma Essi and Arjuna Neuman, hosted by Jonathan Ali
Thu 23 Feb 18:10
Film Wallahs: Kekee Manzil: House of Art
Fri 24 Feb 20:40
Course: Filmmaking for Artists: Beginners Filmmaking Workshop
Sun 26 Feb 10:30-16:30
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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
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