Richard Gadd ‘questioned’ by Baby Reindeer producers over series controversy

Comedian’s behaviour was investigated after series’s huge success

Jacob Stolworthy
Saturday 11 May 2024 11:01 BST
Baby Reindeer trailer

Baby Reindeer star Richard Gadd has been “questioned” – and cleared – by producers over a controversy related to the show.

The biographical series, written by and starring comedian Gadd, follows struggling comic Donny Dunn as he is relentlessly harassed and stalked by Martha Scott (Jessica Gunning) for more than four years.

Since the seven-episode show’s release on 11 April, it has become a word-of-mouth sensation, shooting to the top of the streaming service’s most-watched charts with very little promotion.

However, as the real-life element of the story piqued the interest of viewers, the unprecedented success came with a caveat: as more people viewed the show, more people attempted to discover the real-life inspirations behind the show’s characters, including Martha, in a move that Gadd himself has criticised.

Before that, though, a post on X/Twitter, shared by an actor who was in the running to play a role in the series, placed Gadd’s alleged behaviour in the spotlight. Reece Lyons said she was left feeling “hurt” after a romance with Gadd, whom she said “conflated a work opportunity with a dating dynamic”.

Lyons said that, after meeting Gadd, who has since been cleared of any wrongdoing: “He began to tell me about his upcoming Netflix show that he had written. The role in question was that of his ex-girlfriend, a trans woman. I told him I was interested in auditioning and asked him to get in touch with my agent.”

As the audition process continued, Lyons cooled things off with Gadd, who she said text her two weeks later to see if she wanted to resume their romance. Lyons said she felt “conflicted” about this development as she was concerned it would affect her chances of being in the show.

The role ultimately went to Generation actor Nava Mau, with Gadd tellying Lyons that producers wanted a more “established” star to play the role of Teri. When Lyons asked Gadd where they stood personally, she claims Gadd told her: “It’s not going to work. You’re too confrontational for me.”

In the post, Lyons did not name Gadd, but heavily suggested he was the person she was referring to – something Deadline claims to have verified.

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It’s now been reported by the outlet that Clerkenwell Films, the production company behind the show, investigated Gadd’s professional conduct after Lyons’s post went viral on social media in April, and found that the comedian did not act unprofessionally.

Richard Gadd in ‘Baby Reindeer’
Richard Gadd in ‘Baby Reindeer’ (Netflix)

A source for Clerkenwell Films, which also produced The End of the F***ing World, said the account of Lyons, who was not interviewed as part of the investigation, as well as other evidence, cleared Gadd of any misconduct.

Furthermore, it was found that the casting decisions for the show were not affected.

Gadd has declined to comment.

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