Nicola Bulley’s family to give ‘definitive record’ of her life in documentary

Nicola Bulley
Nicola Bulley's disappearance on Jan 27 2023 sparked one of the most high-profile and controversial missing person searches in recent times - Family Handout/PA

A documentary on Nicola Bulley is to tell the “inside story” of her disappearance as her family have vowed to give a “definitive record” of her life.

The mother of two vanished while walking her dog next to the River Wyre in Lancashire in January 2023, sparking a frenzy of speculation on social media and across the country.

Police also came under fire for going public with details of the 45-year-old’s “significant issues with alcohol” and struggles with the menopause, before her body was discovered downstream three weeks after she went missing.

A coroner subsequently concluded she had fallen into freezing water accidentally.

Her family have now vowed to set the record straight on Ms Bulley’s disappearance and ensure she has the “legacy that she deserves”, they said.

The Disappearance of Nicola Bulley: the Inside Story, will air on BBC One and iPlayer later this year, and will include interviews with her family as well as journalists and Lancashire Police.

“Collectively we thought long and hard about taking part in a documentary about Nikki,” a spokesman for Ms Bulley’s family said. “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.”

They added: “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.”

Nicola Bulley and her father, Ernie Bulley
Nicola Bulley and her father, Ernie Bulley - Ernie Bulley

Ms Bulley’s disappearance near St Michael’s on Jan 27 last year sparked one of the most high-profile and controversial missing person searches in recent times, leading to frenzied conspiracy internet theories and even to some members of the public digging up woodland near where she was last seen.

An independent review, published in November, found that Lancashire Constabulary should have briefed journalists with details of Ms Bulley’s vulnerabilities to avoid frenzied public speculation about her fate.

Her family added: “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.”

Thanking Ms Bulley’s family for sharing their story for the programme, Clare Sillery, head of commissioning, documentaries, at the BBC, said: “The disappearance of Nicola Bulley dominated the headlines in early 2023 and sparked weeks of false speculation on social media.

“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.”