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The Salisbury Poisonings: Who is Tracy Daszkiewicz? True Story Behind Anne-Marie Duff's Character

The Salisbury Poisonings: Who is Tracy Daszkiewicz? True Story Behind Anne-Marie Duff's Character

Viewers hailed Tracy a 'hero' for her role in the case.

Ever since it dropped on Netflix, we've been hooked to The Salisbury Poisonings: a three part drama based on the real-life case of the Novichok poisonings.

In March 2018, ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were targeted with a deadly nerve agent in Salisbury.

The drama first aired last year on BBC, but having just dropped on Netflix, viewers are binging it for the first time. And many have been calling Tracy Daszkiewicz (who is played by Anne-Marie Duff) a 'hero' for how she handled the public health response.

We're first introduced to Tracy after Sergei and Yulia were discovered in Salisbury, sat slumped on a bench in the city centre.

What followed was a frantic search to find out exactly what type of toxin the father and daughter had been poisoned with, before officials embarked on a desperate hunt to retrace the pair's steps and anyone they came into contact with.

Viewers watch as, to the horror of Tracy and the team, they realise the pair had come into contact with countless people, surfaces and places following the poisoning.

But who is Tracy? And what's the story behind her incredible work?

Tracy was director of public health for Wiltshire Council in 2018, when the poisonings took place. She was responsible for tracing Sergei and Yulia's movements to minimise spread and contamination of the nerve agent.

For almost a year after the incident, Tracy also worked with other teams to clean up Salisbury and make sure the public were protected.

Speaking to The Sun, Tracy said: “That first briefing was surreal, sickening. My first thought was of Alexander Litvinenko.

“I remembered they had used a radioactive isotope, polonium. Then I remembered it had been found in potentially lethal doses in multiple locations around London.

“My heart was in my mouth. I had to appear calm, to listen carefully and do my job. But it wasn’t easy.

“Over those first 48 hours we never quite knew what we were going in to or what the risks and challenges would be. There were ‘oh s**t’ moments for sure.”

Tracy was director of public health for Wiltshire Council in 2018 (

As we see in the drama, Tracy made a number personal sacrifices for the case, even sleeping in her office on several occasions.

Prior to the poisonings, Tracy had been working on other day-to-day health jobs, such as flu outbreaks and the 'Beast from the East' - the extreme wintry weather that had taken place shortly before.

Speaking about meeting Tracy in real life, co-writer Adam Patterson told Radio Times: "She wasn’t self-aggrandising, she’s so humble. And we had to kind of force all of this stuff out of her.

"About how sleeping in her office, and doing the things – it’s just a whole side of the response that we had no clue about. And it was the human cost for her, that we learned about over time as we got to know her, even the impact on her own family.”

Meanwhile, Anne-Marie - who also met Tracy prior to filming - said she was 'blown away' by the public health director.

“By her story, and by her as a woman when I got to meet her, and her level of commitment. I always find commitment completely fascinating and very attractive in people… and she was fantastically trusting, actually. I think that’s kind of her nature. She was really trusting and she knew me and she’d seen my work before, which helped I think a wee bit," she said.

Anne-Marie met Tracy prior to filming (

After watching the gripping drama, viewers have been quick to praise Tracy, with one writing on Twitter: "Finished 'The Salisbury Poisonings' last night. Incredible story. How bloody impressive was Tracy Daszkiewicz!"

While another said: "As a resident of Salisbury, I’ve just been re-watching The Salisbury Poisonings. All I can say is thank goodness Tracy Daszkiewicz and local teams were in charge."

And a third added: "Tracy Daszkiewicz - the absolute hero of the Salisbury poisonings."

You can catch all three episodes of The Salisbury Poisonings on Netflix now.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: TV And Film, Netflix