Novichok police officer’s parents criticise BBC drama

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Media caption“I was petrified” – Det Sgt Nick Bailey on being poisoned by Novichok

The parents of a police officer poisoned in the Salisbury Novichok attack have criticised plans to film a TV drama about it.

The BBC has commissioned a two-part series inspired by the 2018 poisonings.

Det Sgt Nick Bailey’s parents, Steve and Sue, said producing the drama was “inappropriately premature” and they “don’t need this reminder”.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were targeted with the nerve agent in March 2018.

Det Sgt Bailey was also contaminated at the Skripal’s home, where the nerve agent had been sprayed on a door handle, and needed hospital treatment.

The BBC said the currently untitled drama would tell the story of “how ordinary people reacted to a crisis on their doorstep, displaying extraordinary heroism”.

In a letter written to the Salisbury Journal, Mr and Mrs Bailey, from Sandleheath, Hampshire, said it was “disappointing” the BBC wanted to produce the dramatisation.

“The people of Salisbury deserve a proper break from this and the BBC producer’s promise to ‘focus on the extraordinary heroism with which ordinary people reacted to the crisis’ is just an excuse to sensationalise an episode in our lives and in the lives of the people of Salisbury which is still very raw,” the couple said.

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The Skripals also survived the attack which was condemned by Prime Minister Theresa May

They added the drama was “inappropriately premature for the people of Salisbury and in particular for the victims and their families”, saying they “don’t need this reminder at a time when we are all still trying to come to terms with what happened last year”.

Dawn Sturgess was fatally poisoned in the attack, which the British government has blamed on Russia.

Ms Sturgess and her partner Charlie Rowley – who has since recovered – are believed to have come into contact with a bottle of Novichok discarded by the Skripals’ attackers.

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