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BBC Factual commissions inside story of Nicola Bulley disappearance

BBC Factual has announced a new documentary telling the inside story of the disappearance of Lancashire mother-of-two, Nicola Bulley.

It was announced today at Sheffield DocFest and features exclusive interviews with her family and those closest to the case.

The Disappearance of Nicola Bulley: the Inside Story (w/t) is produced by BAFTA award-winning Rogan Productions and will air later this year on BBC One and iPlayer.

“The disappearance of Nicola Bulley dominated the headlines in early 2023 and sparked weeks of false speculation on social media,” explained Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries.

“This new film asks important and timely questions about why this story resonated with the public to such an extent and what impact that had on those closest to the case, hearing directly from those in the eye of the storm. My thanks to Rogan Productions and to all the contributors – most importantly the family – for sharing their story with us.”

Whilst walking her usual morning route along the River Wyre in the Lancashire village of St. Michael’s on Wyre, in January last year, Nicola Bulley went missing without a trace. What followed became an international media storm and raised questions about how it was handled by the police and the press.

The film will hear from journalists and the police, as well as family members.

“Nicola Bulley’s disappearance was a tragedy that has remained in the minds of many. What ensued demonstrated the power of the mainstream and social media and how they impacted the case and everyone involved. We’d like to thank the family for trusting us with their story and allowing viewers to see who Nicola was behind the headlines,” added Soleta Rogan, Managing Director, Rogan Productions.

The family of Nicola Bulley said: 

““Collectively we thought long and hard about taking part in a documentary about Nikki. It wasn’t an easy decision. Nikki’s face and name quickly became very recognisable, but there is so much to share about Nikki the person. Our sole aim is to provide the definitive record on Nikki to ensure she has the legacy that she deserves. Many people have aired their views about her disappearance and her untimely and tragic death, only we can speak about her as a mummy, partner, daughter, and sister. In addition, if our experience of being in the eye of a media storm makes people think twice about how they act and what they say online, then we will have achieved some further good. 
 
“We’d also like to express our sincere thanks to everyone at Rogan Productions who have treated us with great care, respect and compassion throughout the process of making this documentary. It was emotionally draining reliving some of our experiences, but we wanted to do this for Nikki.
 
“Nikki’s loss is felt by us all, every day, we have drawn a huge amount of comfort from the kindness of so many people, and we want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has taken the time to contact us. We have so appreciated the many kind words and gestures during the worst times of our lives.”

The documentary is directed by former BBC New Documentary Directors’ Initiative alumnus Rachel Lob-Levyt (Louis Theroux Interviews, Hospital) and executive produced by James Rogan and Soleta Rogan, with producer Xinlan Rose (The Clinic, Russell Brand: In Plain Sight). Brett Irwin (Uprising, The Kings) is the Editor and Emma Loach is Commissioning Editor for the BBC.

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