BBC to dramatise Salisbury Novichok poisoning

Former Panorama journalists Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson will write the two-part series

SOUTH WEST ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM: Picutred in this file image dated November 12, 2017, is the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Salisbury Cathedral) designed in the Early English Gothic style and built in the 13th century, in the city of Salisbury, Wiltshire; suspected of poisoning former Russian military intelligence serviceman Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4, 2018, Russian citizens Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov claim in an RT interview they travelled to Salisbury as tourists, in particular to visit the Salibsury Cathedral. Ilya Dmitryachev/TASS (Photo by Ilya DmitryachevTASS via Getty Images)

The BBC is to make a two-part drama inspired by the 2018 Novichok poisonings in Salisbury.


Declan Lawn (a former investigator for Panorama) and documentary director Adam Patterson will write the series, which will put a spin on the news story from March 2018, in which former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were targeted with the nerve agent Novichok in the south-England town, and “how ordinary people reacted to a crisis on their doorstep, displaying extraordinary heroism”.

In the hours after the attack, police officer Nick Bailey accidentally came into contact with the poison and was taken to hospital for treatment. Four months later, on 30th June, 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess and her partner Charlie Rowley encountered a discarded bottle of the substance. Sturgess passed away on 8th July, while Rowley later made a full recovery. Both Skripal and his daughter survived the attack.


“We feel extremely privileged to be telling this story,” the writing duo said in a joint statement. “Extensive, meticulous research is at the heart of how we like to work and we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of Salisbury who have opened up to us over the past few months and continue to do so.”