Author and TV presenter Richard Osman has claimed that the identity of the sexual abuser in new the Netflix series Baby Reindeer is known to people in the television industry.

Speaking as the new co-host of The Rest Is Entertainment podcast, Osman spoke with journalist Marina Hyde about the recent series, which has been topping viewership charts in the UK and US.

The series, which was adapted from a one-man show by comedian Richard Gadd, is based on real events from his life. It follows a struggling comedian, Donny, who is relentlessly stalked by an older woman named Martha. The stalking leads Donny to reflect on darker elements of his past, including a traumatic incident of sexual abuse by a television writer and producer named Darrien.

The show’s popularity and disclaimer of being based on true events has lead some viewers to try and investigate the real identities behind the characters of both Martha and Darrien.

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Richard Gadd as Donny in ‘Baby Reindeer’. CREDIT: Ed Miller/2022 Netflix, Inc.

Gadd 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.

Now, Osman claims that the identity of the person who inspired Darrien’s character is well-known in the industry.

“Everyone knows who he is talking about,” said Osman.

“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,” Osman explained.

He also spoke about the accusations that have been made against director and writer Sean Foley, who had been “caught up in speculation,” according to Gadd.

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Tom Goodman-Hill as Darrien in ‘Baby Reindeer’. CREDIT: Courtesy of Netflix © 2024

Osman continued to speak about the rumours and speculation: “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.”

“But the person they’ve cast in that role looks like this other guy, looks like the guy who’s been falsely accused,” he continued. The role of Darrien in Baby Reindeer is played by Tom Goodman-Hill.

“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.”

Foley took to X last week to address the comments he had been receiving, writing: “Police have been informed and are investigating all defamatory abusive and threatening posts against me.”

Meanwhile, a woman accused of being the real person behind Martha’s character has claimed that she has received death threats as a result of the show.

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