Richard Gadd Baby Reindeer

Inside Baby Reindeer star Richard Gadd’s life: The real man who the show is also based on

He’s a writer on Sex Education

Everyone is watching Baby Reindeer on Netflix right now. It’s got an 100 per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes and has received rave reviews across the board. But what makes this show interesting is that it’s actually based on real life. The whole show is based on the story of Richard Gadd who not only wrote the show but also stars in it as the main character.

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 begins stalking him, in real life and over social media. The whole thing is insanely chilling and gripping.

But who is Richard Gadd, the comedian who not only wrote and starts in the show but what the whole thing is based on?

He’s a comedian, actor and writer

Richard Gadd is a 34-year-old Scottish writer, actor and comedian. He went to The University of Glasgow “to appease [his] parents” and it was here he got into stand-up and drama. “I was terrible,” he told The Times. “I was at mainstream comedy clubs doing comedy that was arguably quite bad, pressing the wrong buttons, alienatingly subversive.”

He then trained at the Oxford School of Drama in 2012. Before writing and starring in Baby Reindeer, he’s also been in a number of shows including BBC2’s Against the Law, BBC3’s Clique, Sky Arts’ One Normal Night and E4’s Tripped.

The whole show is based on his own experience

So as well as writing and acting in the show, the whole thing is based on his own experience. 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.

Via Netflix

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.

He originally wrote Baby Reindeer as a one-man play

Baby Reindeer was initially written about his experience as a one-man play and premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019 where it won two awards. It then went on to do a five-week run at The Bush Theatre in London before moving to the West End and eventually nabbing a Netflix adaptation.

He’s currently single

Richard is bisexual and is not currently in a relationship and has revealed that after being stalked he “is more cautious of people”. It takes me a long time to trust them. Before, I entered situations with such abandonment and I got burnt,” he said.

He’s written an episode of Sex Education

As well as getting a 100 per cent Rotten Tomatoes score for Baby Reindeer, Richard Gadd actually has a link to another huge Netflix show and it’s Sex Education. Richard worked across season two of the show and specifically wrote season two episode five of the show in which Otis and Eric are on a hiking trip whilst Ola has a realisation about her sexuality and breaks up with Otis.

He’s an outdoorsy person


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A post shared by Richard Gadd (@mrrichardgadd)

According to his Insta, which is full of pics on walks and outside, Richard Gadd is an outdoorsy person and has also travelled a lot with pictures of him in many different places including Las Vegas.

He does a lot of charity work

As a result of his experience, Richard Gadd is an ambassador for We Are Survivors which is a British charity aimed at helping male victims of sexual assault

His real-life stalker cannot contact him again

Although he can’t talk about it in detail for legal reasons, Richard said that his real-life stalker can’t contact him again. Speaking to Vanity Fair, he said: “The situation did result in a situation, shall we say, where she cannot contact me again.”

He doesn’t want his parents to watch the show

Richard has spoke about how he doesn’t want his parents, a microbiologist and secretary, to watch Baby Reindeer. He already banned them from his 2016 award-winning show Monkey See Monkey Do, about a previous sexual assault (which feeds into Baby Reindeer). He shares Netflix with them (“I pay for it, it’s the least I can do”) and has warned them that he will be able to see if they have watched.

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

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Featured images via Netflix and Instagram.