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08th May 2024

Richard Osman says ‘everyone’ knows who the real life Darrien from Baby Reindeer is


Speculation has been rife amongst fans of the show as to who the ‘real-life Darrien’ is.

Richard Osman has claimed that “everyone knows” who the real-life Darrien is from Richard Gadd’s hit Netflix show Baby Reindeer.

Speaking on his The Rest Is Entertainment podcast, the author and television presenter revealed that the show’s writer and creator, Gadd, has been “very open to people in the industry” in regard to who the real ‘Darrien’ character is.

Darrien, a successful TV writer, appears in the fourth episode of the series, and proceeds to groom Gadd over a series of meetings before sexually assaulting him on several occasions.

Osman, who was talking about the process of turning trauma into art on the popular podcast, also declared that “everyone knows who he [Gadd] is talking about”.

Osman’s co-host, Marina Hyde, was raising concerns about whether the streaming platform is doing enough to ensure people wouldn’t be identified, when the former Pointless co-host said: “Well, that’s the interesting thing. As you say, there’s a very, very serious thing that happens with a male comedy producer and Richard Gadd, who, as you say, did the show in Edinburgh and has been very open to people in the industry about who that person was, so people in the industry know who that person was.

“Now it comes out now and a completely different person is identified, someone who has produced Richard Gadd before, but is definitively not the person in any way,” he continued.

“But the person they’ve cast in that role looks like this other guy, looks like the guy who’s been falsely accused. And it’s such a weird, bizarre thing to do because this poor guy has had death threats and he’s had to issue a statement to say it’s not me. And it is not him, but definitely not because people in the industry know who it is. And it definitely not him.”

Gadd, himself, has asked viewers to stop speculating about the real people, as some members of the TV and comedy industry began to receive hateful comments, threats and accusations, with viewers believing them to be the true identities behind the characters.

The show has been submerged in controversy since its release on the streaming platform last month.

It took fans just a matter of hours to locate the real ‘Martha’ online. Since the show’s release, the alleged woman behind the character has rubbished some of the events portrayed in the show and distanced herself from the intense and dangerous character played by British actress Jessica Gunning after being interviewed by Piers Morgan.

Earlier this month, Deadline reported that Gadd was questioned by producers on the show after he allegedly dated a transgender actress who auditioned for a role.

Reece Lyons auditioned for the part of Donny’s partner Teri in the Netflix series, but Nava Mau was eventually cast to play the character.

According to Deadline, Gadd dated Lyons after encouraging her to audition for the series in 2021. This reportedly prompted Clerkenwell Films, the series’ producers, to investigate Gadd over his conduct.

The 34-year-old was cleared of any wrongdoing, with Clerkenwell concluding Gadd had acted appropriately.

Five days after Baby Reindeer was released, Lyons posted a lengthy thread on X detailing an experience she had whilst auditioning for a Netflix series.

Although Lyons did not mention Gadd’s name or confirm what series it was, Deadline has confirmed this is who she was referring to.

Gadd had allegedly not made Clerkenwell aware of the fact he dated Lyons four times between October and November 2021. The producers only became aware of this after her social media posts.

In her posts, Lyons made clear in the posts that she was “not a victim of any type of ‘abuse.’”

After going on dates together, Gadd ended his dating relationship with Lyons in December 2021, three months before the formal casting process for Baby Reindeer began.

Lyons ended up submitting an audition tape for Teri to Nina Gold Casting in March 2022, six months after first meeting Gadd.

He did not have final say on casting decisions, but did give feedback to Clerkenwell Films on audition tapes. 

Lyons claims Gadd rang her to say that whilst he thought her audition was “exceptional”, Netflix were “looking for somebody who’s already a star.”

She alleges that when she then asked about their personal relationship, he said: “It’s not going to work. You’re too confrontational for me.”

A Clerkenwell source told Deadline that Lyons account and other evidence was enough to conclude that Gadd behaved professionally and casting decisions were not compromised. The company remains in contact with Lyons’ agent. 


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