Salisbury Poisonings’ Annabel Scholey: We felt we had to do the story justice

Actress Annabel Scholey has spoken of the pressure she felt while portraying the people involved in the 2018 Novichok poisonings.

Scholey, who plays Sarah Bailey in The Salisbury Poisonings, the wife of a police officer who was poisoned by the nerve agent, said she had wanted to “do the story justice”.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, she said it had been a “massive privilege” to tell the story of the couple alongside Rafe Spall, who plays Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.

She said: “We went to their house for tea before we started filming and it was amazing to meet them, absolutely amazing, and quite frightening because we obviously felt we had to do the story justice.

“They’re such optimistic and determined people, I felt really humbled to meet them because they’ve been through such an incredibly horrifying thing and they are very much together as a family unit.”

When asked about the message of the drama, particularly during a pandemic, Scholey said: “I think its message is absolutely that in the face of a national emergency, something that can hit you out of the blue which none of us are prepared for, that we do have the courage and the bravery to face it, and that’s what the people of Salisbury did.”

65th Evening Standard Theatre Awards – London
Anne-Marie Duff (Ian West/PA)

The BBC drama follows the aftermath of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and tells the story of how ordinary people and public services reacted to a crisis on their doorstep, as their city became the focus of a national emergency.

It also stars Anne-Marie Duff as Tracy Daszkiewicz, the director of public health for Wiltshire, and MyAnna Buring as Dawn Sturgess.

The Salisbury Poisonings will air on June 14, 15, and 16 on BBC One at 9pm and all episodes will also be available as a boxset on BBC iPlayer after the first episode has aired.

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