Discovery has commissioned The Poisonings (wt), a 90-minute feature documentary that delves into the attack on Sergei Skripal and the long-lasting impact the poisoning has had on the city of Salisbury.

Produced by DSP, a Banijay UK company, the story will be available to watch on discovery+ in winter this year.

In March 2018, a former Russian agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, were taken to a hospital where they spent several weeks recovering from what was later found to be a poisoning attack from Novichok nerve agent. The Salisbury event was soon met with widespread media attention as well as an intensified political debate surrounding Russia’s aggressive operations. By the end of March 2018, the British government expelled 153 Russian diplomats following the accusations of the poisoning attack.

This testimony-driven feature documentary will shed light on the impact the 2018 events have had on Salisbury, a small English city in the aftermath of the world’s most talked-about poisonings. The emotional interview with Nick Bailey, the ex-detective poisoned by Novichok, will unveil the yet untold details of the 2018 attack. The officer’s personal and professional life changed forever following his visit to the contaminated house of Sergei Skripal. The story is enriched by conversations with eyewitnesses who noticed the former Russian spy and his daughter, Yulia, collapse on a bench in central Salisbury.

It also covers the tragic death of local woman Dawn Sturgess, who died after spraying herself with a fake perfume bottle containing the Novichok that had been used to poison Sergei Skripal.

Simon Downing, Head of Factual and Docs at Discovery, said: “The horrifying story of Salisbury poisonings saved in history as one of the most spoken-about murder attempts on a political spy. DSP has done an incredible job turning this extremely complex story into a gripping and emotional documentary. We’re honoured to be able to give voice to the yet unheard voices on discovery+.”

Donna Clark, Managing Director at DSP said, “It’s been fascinating to delve into the story of the Salisbury Poisonings and hearing first hand testimonies from the people whose lives were turned upside down when Russian agents wreaked havoc on this picturesque Wiltshire city.”

The series was ordered for discovery+ by Simon Downing, commissioned by Victoria Noble and executive produced by Jeremy Phillips for Discovery.

Jon Creamer

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