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What happened to DS Nick Bailey? Real detective behind The Salisbury Poisonings and where he is now

Everything you need to know about the police officer who was rushed to hospital after searching the Skripal's property

Nick Bailey in The Salisbury Poisonings
Published: Tuesday, 16th June 2020 at 11:00 pm

The Salisbury Poisonings has intoxicated the British viewing public - with the dramatisation of the infamous 2018 incident becoming the BBC's biggest new drama launch in six years.


One of the key players in the story is Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, played on the show by Rafe Spall, who became one of the incident's victims when he was rushed to hospital after searching the Skripal property while on duty.

Here's everything you need to know about Bailey and what happened to him...

Who is Nick Bailey?

A member of Wiltshire Police since 2002, DS Nick Bailey was among three officers tasked with carrying out a search on the Skripal house shortly after Sergei and Yulia had been rushed to hospital.

While attempting to discover if there were any further casualties from the poisoning, Nick was exposed to the Novichok by touching the front door handle, and despite the fact that he was fully kitted out in a protective suit he soon fell severely ill.

Nick spent a total of three weeks in hospital as he fought for his life - but he luckily remained conscious where he was guarded by police - with his wife Sarah keeping him company.

What happened to Nick Bailey?

And although he was eventually able to make a full recovery, there were long-lasting impacts for both Nick and his family - he lost many of his possessions due to a mandatory clear out of his home, and has had a stop-start return to work, resuming his duties at Wiltshire Police for the third time on June 15th 2020.

Rafe Spall in The Salisbury Poisonings

Nick showed incredible strength in the wake of the incident - and was even able to complete the Salisbury Marathon in 2019, raising funds for the intensive care unit which supported him while he was ill.

Where is Nick Bailey now?

In November 2018, he told BBC Panorama about his experience, saying: “My pupils were like pinpricks. And I was quite sweaty and hot. Everything was juddering. I was very unsteady on my feet."

He added that although he bounced back pretty well in terms of his physical condition, the incident had taken a profound toll on his mental health, especially given the decontamination operation meant authorities had to completely strip his home.

"I describe it as emotional battering and psychological impact," he said. "It’s taken longer to deal with just because of everything that has happened to us.

“Not only did we lose the house, we lost all of our possessions, including everything the kids owned. We lost all that – the cars… we lost everything. And yeah, it’s been very difficult to kind of come to terms with that.”

Reacting to the show Nick and his wife shared how their experiences varied from the portrayal in places.

His wife went for a humourous approach...


She clarified that she cleaned extensively.

But importantly she let everyone know that poor old Pippin the cat is safe and well.
The Salisbury Poisonings aired 14th-16th June 2020 at 9pm on BBC One. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.
The Salisbury Poisonings arrives on AMC's new subscription service AMC+ on Thursday 1 October 2020.

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