Netflix Baby Reindeer star issues urgent plea over 'Martha' search

Richard Gadd plays Donny in the Netflix series
Richard Gadd plays Donny in the Netflix series -Credit:Shutterstock

Richard Gadd, the creator and lead star of Netflix's new hit show, Baby Reindeer, has issued a warning to fans who are attempting to track down the 'real' Martha Scott, who made his life unbearable.

The chilling drama series, which is currently the most-watched show on the streaming platform in more than countries, tells a harrowing story of how a simple act of kindness turned into a dangerous obsession. The gripping series, which was picked up by Netflix after a successful run in the West End, was both created and performed by Richard Gadd.

The Mirror reports Richard plays Donny, a character based on his own traumatic experiences of being relentlessly pursued by a woman named Martha Scott (portrayed by Jessica Gunning). In real life, Richard's stalker sent him more than 41,000 emails, left voicemails totalling 350 hours, sent dozens of social media messages, and wrote 106 pages of letters over a three-year period.

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However, it appears that fans of Baby Reindeer have become somewhat obsessed themselves, making it their mission to find the real Martha on social media. They have also been speculating about the identity of the real Darrien in the captivating seven-part Netflix series.

The gripping series Baby Reindeer has had fans glued to their screens, particularly in episode four where Richard's character endures grooming and sexual assault by the influential Darrien, portrayed by Tom Goodman-Hill. The intensity of the show, rooted in Richard's real-life experiences, has sparked a frenzy among viewers on social platforms like X and TikTok, with many convinced they've pinpointed the 'real life' Darrien, noting his striking resemblance to Tom Goodman-Hill.

As the series unfolds, it's no wonder that audiences are engrossed in uncovering the true identities behind the dramatised personas. But following the shows success, Richard has felt compelled to address his audience directly, cautioning them against such pursuits and emphasising that this is not the intended focus of the series.

Star of Baby Reindeer
Netflix's Baby Reindeer star issues warning as viewers seek out real ‘Martha’ -Credit:Netflix

In a heartfelt message shared via Instagram stories, he said: "Hi everyone. People I love, have worked with, and admire (including Sean Foley) are unfairly getting caught up in speculation. Please don't speculate on who the real life people could be. That's not the point of our show. Lots of love."

Originally premiering at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the original play garnered critical acclaim, with some reviewers finding it 'haunting'. Following its initial success, the play enjoyed a run at London's Bush theatre and now, five years on, it has become one of Netflix's most streamed successes.

Richard Gadd has taken a bold step in confronting his personal trauma by creating the play and series 'Baby Reindeer', which includes deeply personal elements from his own stalking experience, such as the nickname given to him by his stalker. With the Netflix series, he aims to present stalking with a 'human quality' that is often missing from the sensationalised portrayals on TV.

"Stalking on television tends to be very sexed-up and it has a mystique. It's somebody in a dark alley way. It's somebody who's really sexy, who's very normal, but then they go strange bit by bit.

"But stalking is a mental illness. I really wanted to show the layers of stalking with a human quality I hadn't seen on television before" Richard explained about his intentions behind the series.

You can now watch 'Baby Reindeer' on Netflix.

For those affected by sexual assault, support and resources are available at can also call the national helpline at 0808 802 9999.

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