This is the terrifying true story behind Netflix’s creepy new show Baby Reindeer

Nah I’m not sleeping tonight

Baby Reindeer is out on Netflix and it’s currently number one in the UK right now. It follows comedian Donny Dunn as he is stalked by a woman named Martha whom he met at the bar where he works. She quickly becomes obsessed and infatuated with him and although at first appears friendly, she quickly begins stalking him, in real life and over social media and the whole thing gets very creepy very quickly.

But is Baby Reindeer on Netflix based on a true story?

Baby Reindeer is a true story and is based on the experience of comedian Richard Gadd who wrote and acted in the show. It started as a play at the Edinburgh Fringe where it got rave reviews before it moved to London’s Bush Theatre and now transformed into a Netflix mini-series.

Richard Gadd has been very open about the fact that he was stalked for four years by a woman who called him “Baby Reindeer”. The whole ordeal started around a decade ago when Richard was working in the UK comedy scene. But after offering a woman (named Martha in the show) a free cup of tea, she began stalking him.

Apparently, she constantly followed him to his comedy gigs and even showed up at his house. She sent Richard over 41,071 emails, 350 hours of voicemail, 744 tweets, 46 Facebook messages and 106 pages of letters. She also sent him an array of slightly sinister gifts — sleeping pills, a woolly hat, brand new boxer shorts and a reindeer toy.

In an interview with Channel 4, Richard said: “At its height, it was almost unbearable”. He shared how she would frequently show up at his performances, arrive uninvited at his home, and shower him with gifts like hats and boxer shorts, all while incessantly messaging him day and night.

But at first, his friends didn’t think anything of it. Speaking to The Times, he said: “At first everyone at the pub thought it was funny that I had an admirer,” he explained. “Then she started to invade my life, following me, turning up at my gigs, waiting outside my house, sending thousands of voicemails and emails.”

But because no threats or violence were posed by the stalker, his case wasn’t deemed as high priority and the police couldn’t do much to help. “The laws surrounding harassment and abuse are so stupid because they look for black and white, good and evil, and that’s not how it works,” Richard said.

Speaking to The Guardian, he said: “I was getting told off for harassing the police about being harassed. I’ve been through two police investigations in my life and they’ve both been hilarious, fly-on-the-wall terrible. Honestly, my advice to someone who ever thought of pressing charges would be: ‘It’s a f**king nightmare process, and it takes years’.”

Although Baby Reindeer is mostly true, Richard admitted he did amp up the tension and suspense for the sake of the show. “The feeling you get most of all when you’re getting harassed is relentless tediousness and frustration,” he said. “I didn’t want the audience to feel that.”

A decade later, his stalker, whose real identity remains unknown, is now legally barred from approaching him or anyone he knows.

Baby Reindeer is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

The Fallout TV show has a huge lore error that completely contradicts one of the games

Sydney Sweeney explains how dehumanised she feels when her body is constantly sexualised

What happened to Daniel Wong and the latest on Jennifer Pan’s boyfriend now

Featured image via Netflix.