Crossroads: The series that started as a Midlands soap and became a network hit

From its start in 1964 until 1981, Noele Gordon was known as the Queen of Crossroads. Credit: ITV/ITVX

From 1964 until 1981, Noele Gordon was known as the Queen of Crossroads.

The television series which started as an ATV Midlands soap, became a network hit, with 15 million people tuning in five times a week to watch.

As a senior member of ATV staff, Noele Gordon not only starred in Crossroads, but was also obsessive about its production.

The story behind the rise and subsequent fall of Noele has now been transformed into an ITVX drama called Nolly.

Crossroads was one of ITV's (formally ATV) most popular soap operas in the 1980's Credit: ITV News Central

The new three-part drama is streaming free from today Thursday 2, February - with Helena Bonham Carter playing Noele, also known as Nolly.

In an interview with ITV News Helena said: "She's going to inspire me and if anyone treats me badly, I'll just roll out my Nolly!"

Talking about the day Nolly was fired, Helena added: "I just thought 'wow you have been totally humiliated'.

"She just told it like it was...took it on the chin."

Credit: ITV News Central

ITVX's Nolly writer Russell T. Davies explained that in the industry she was depicted as a "diva" and a "show monster".

In an interview with ITV News, Russel said: "She was an absolute bastian. Pillar of the community.

"There was Margaret Thatcher and Noelle Gordon.

"She was so famous, she won so many awards and then she was sacked ruthlessly, brutally."

In the ITVX drama, Helena Bonham Carter plays Noele Gordon playing Meg Mortimer - her character in Crossroads. Credit: ITV/ITVX

The show has been described as "almost an exclusive backstage pass to Crossroads".

People who watch the show will be taken back in time, into the world of soaps in the 80s.

Viewers will see everything that happens behind the scenes of a soap, from script briefings, rehearsals and live recordings. 

And at last, the biggest question of all can be answered – why was Nolly sacked?

Click here to watch Nolly on ITVX

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