Baby Reindeer star Richard Gadd urges viewers not to identify real-life Martha

Baby Reindeer Richard Gadd has issued a statement to urge fans and viewers not to identify the real-life people behind the characters, including stalker Martha.

Baby Reindeer spoilers follow.

Written, created by and starring bisexual comedian Richard Gadd, Baby Reindeer is Netflix’s latest binge-worthy hit, and tells the autobiographical story of struggling comedian Donny’s (Gadd) traumatic ordeal with a stalker called Martha, played by Pride star Jessica Gunning.

Released on 11 April, Baby Reindeer has gripped the attention of viewers, with some trying to identify “Martha” and other characters in real life, using social media profiles and clips of Gadd’s comedy routines.

But now, Gadd has taken to social media to urge them to stop.

Donny (Richard Gadd) in Baby Reindeer.
Donny (Richard Gadd) in Baby Reindeer. (Netflix)

Posted to his Instagram Story, Gadd wrote: “People I love, have worked with and admire … are unfairly getting caught up in speculation. Please don’t speculate on who any of the real-life people could be. That’s not the point of the show.”

Some fans believed they had already identified an X (Twitter) account because of the similarity of posts to lines of dialogue spoken by the on-screen character.

They also identified a TikTok of one of Gadd’s early comedy routines, in which someone with a distinct laugh can be heard. Although it’s possible the laugh does not belong to Martha, the character’s giggle is a defining feature of the stalker.

Donny (Richard Gadd) and Martha (Jessica Gunning) in Baby Reindeer.
Donny (Richard Gadd) and stalker Martha (Jessica Gunning) in Baby Reindeer. (Netflix)

Baby Reindeer also stars trans actress Nava Mau, as Donny’s partner.

Speaking to Digital Spy, Mau shared her thoughts on the pressure that came with portraying a woman whom Gadd has really dated.

“When I read [the script], I could tell that Richard really loved her, whoever inspired this character,” she said.

“I knew that it was based on real life and it seemed really important to show people that trans women exist in real life and in relationships with real people. I could see Richard’s heart in the writing and I hope that people will see it too.

“I felt a great sense of responsibility, and I cared a lot about telling the story in the best way possible.”

Donny (Richard Gadd) and girlfriend Teri (Nava Mau) in Baby Reindeer.
Donny (Richard Gadd) and girlfriend Teri (Nava Mau) in Baby Reindeer. (Netflix)

Baby Reindeer is based on Gadd’s acclaimed stage show that premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019.

It won the Scotsman Fringe First Award for new writing and a Stage Award for acting excellence. It also had a five-week run in London before transferring to the West End.

Although it cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the play still won a prestigious Olivier Award, for outstanding achievement in affiliate theatre.

Baby Reindeer is available to stream on Netflix now.