‘I was severely stalked and severely abused’: Richard Gadd on the true story behind Baby Reindeer Culture | The Guardian

The chilling, visceral, deeply compelling comedy-drama has caused shock waves worldwide since launching last weekend. But what about the experiences that inspired it?

When Richard Gadd wrote Monkey See Monkey Do for the Edinburgh fringe in 2016, he says, “it was pre-#MeToo; sexual assault wasn’t really in the public consciousness, and male sexual assault particularly wasn’t”. He was 27 and catastrophically anxious, and his flatmates were worried, asking him: “What are you doing? No, like, really what are you doing?”

The show – you’d struggle to call it standup, though it won the Edinburgh comedy award that year – is a personal and harrowing account of being raped by a manipulative older man he met earlier in his career. It’s extremely painful to watch, as Gadd’s nascent professional hopes and fantasies are traded on and exploited, leaving him isolated and hollowed out.

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