Salisbury Poisonings officially biggest BBC drama since Bodyguard

Salisbury Poisonings officially biggest BBC drama since Bodyguard

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 3:45pm 24th June 2020.

2 minute read

The TV viewing figures have been updated to account for those watching on catch-up and recordings.

The BBC says the first episode of the dramatisation, which told the story of the novichok poisonings in March and June 2018, attracted a total of 10.3 million viewers to date.

That's the most popular new drama they've launched since 11.2 million people watched the first episode of Bodyguard.

Rafe Spall as DS Nick Bailey in The Salisbury Poisonings Drama
The drama told the story of DS Nick Bailey, who was exposed to the nerve agent while investigating what happened

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: 

"We are delighted The Salisbury Poisonings had such an impact and resonated with the nation. We are incredibly proud to have celebrated members of a city whose bravery and resilience kept safe an entire community, and can't thank (writers) Adam Patterson, Declan Lawn and the production team enough for their meticulous efforts in bringing their story to screen."


The following two episodes of the drama, starring Rafe Spall, Anne Marie Duff and MyAnna Buring, gained some huge figures too.

  • Episode 2 has had a consolidated total of 9.3 million viewers
  • A total of 9.2 million people have watched Episode 3

The numbers could still rise further, as the drama is still available to watch on iPlayer.

Press pictures from The Salisbury Poisonings Drama on BBC
The first episode showed the 'moment' Sergei and Yulia Skripal fell ill in the Maltings in Salisbury

Laurence Bowen, CEO of Dancing Ledge Productions who made the drama said: 

"We're thrilled The Salisbury Poisonings has had such a positive response. It was a privilege to be able to tell the extraordinary real-life stories that lie at the heart of the drama and wonderful they have resonated in the way they have."

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