Who is Baby Reindeer's Richard Gadd? Meet Scots comedian topping Netflix charts across the globe

Netflix smash hit Baby Reindeer is the show being talked about by everyone at the moment and it was written and created by Scots comedian, writer and actor Richard Gadd.

The programme follows a struggling comedian, Donny, as he faces a nightmare four-year stalking ordeal at the hands of a woman named Martha who he came into contact with when he gave her a free drink at the bar he worked in. The seven-part drama, based on the comic's live stand up show from the Edinburgh Festival, has topped Netflix charts here in the UK and across the globe.

And it’s all the more harrowing when you realise that it’s been based on true-life events from an incredibly tumultuous and traumatic period of Richard’s life.

Speaking to Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard on ITV This Morning on Wednesday about his recent success, he admitted he hadn't expected the show to take off the way it did but he was so "proud" that it has.

Richard, 34, said: "I'm super proud of it, it’s blown up so quickly and so fast around the world.

"I didn't expect it in a lot of ways. I really believed in this show but the fact that it's got so stratospheric so quickly for such a cult, quite niche story is kind of amazing."

Baby Reindeer has topped US and UK Netflix charts since it's release last week -Credit:Netflix
Baby Reindeer has topped US and UK Netflix charts since it's release last week -Credit:Netflix

So who is the hot property comedian and where can we expect to see him next…

Where's he from?

Richard, 34, was born and bred in Wormit, in north East Fife and he attended primary school in the village before moving on to his secondary education at Madras College in nearby St Andrews. While he studied at high school, he showed early promise in the entertainment industry when he was praised for a performance in Macbeth.

The star went on to study English Lit and Theatre Studies at Glasgow University, and it was around this time he took his first steps into the world of stand up comedy as he toured the UK to perform routines.

Baby Reindeer

The Netflix show is based on the terrifying ordeal he went through after first coming into contact with the person who inspired Martha in 2015 after he was kind to her in the bar he worked in.

During the course of his stalking nightmare, he’d receive a total of 41,071 emails, 350 hours of voicemails, 744 tweets, 46 Facebook messages, and more than a 100 pages of letters from her. She also turned up at his work, his home, and harassed members of his family. 'Martha' would go on to be jailed and served with a lengthy restraining order.

Baby Reindeer was inspired by Gadd’s 2019 Edinburgh Fringe show of the same name and, speaking on This Morning this week, he said: “I started doing it on the stage, I got a catharsis from going to the Edinburgh Festival and actually performing these plays and exploring the themes and just getting it all out there and achieving some acceptance around them.

"Those shows took off - I went to London and then Netfliix came to me and were like 'do you want to make a series?' And it just snowballed and snowballed."

"You just hope that kind of catharsis keeps going on a bigger scale."

The show also deals with other triggering issues faced by Richard at the time, portrayed by character Donny's sexual abuse at the hands of a media professional he comes into contact with while attempting to break into the industry.

Richard won the Scotsman Fringe First Award for new writing and The Stage award for outstanding performance for Baby Reindeer and would go on to take the show to London for five weeks where it was performed at the Bush Theatre before he was given an Olivier Award for outstanding achievement.

What else should we know him from?

Richard first started performing at the Fringe while he was at university and he won the Laughing Penguin New Act of the Year award in 2010.

He was also part of a comedy troupe with Gary: Tank Commander and Scot Squad’s James Allenby Kirk called Gadd, Kirk and Winning.

In 2016, he was awarded the best comedy show prize for Monkey See, Monkey Do, which saw him running on a treadmill as he told jokes to the audience and opening up about a sexual assault he suffered while he was a student.

Richard has written for shows including Sex Education and has starred in Code 404, Wedding Season and Against the Law.

What's he up to next?

Richard is currently working on a new project for the BBC called Lions. He's also an ambassador for charity We Are Survivors, which works to help male victims of sexual assault.

Baby Reindeer is streaming on Netflix now.

Get the latest celebrity gossip and telly news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily Showbiz newsletter here.