TV & Radio

‘Baby Reindeer was more than a single weird story for me – it was about my life too’

Here’s a tip for other thirty-something men; when an acquaintance asks you what you thought of Baby Reindeer, you should absolutely not call it “relatable”. Especially if she’s just said it was one of the most deeply uncomfortable things she’s ever seen. In all fairness, I’d only watched the first two episodes at the time.

For those who haven’t yet seen Baby Reindeer, which is currently the number one Netflix show in the UK, it follows aspiring comedian Donny’s experience of being sexually assaulted by a man. This trauma remains largely buried until he encounters Martha, a woman who stalks and eventually also assaults him and the people he cares about. The show was written by and stars Richard Gadd, and closely mirrors his own experiences.

My experience is very different to Gadd’s Donny, but there were still moments of deep recognition. I’d started watching Baby Reindeer the same week that I found out that one of the men who’d sexually harassed me had previously been convicted for a series of sex crimes against women. This was my first landlord, back when I was 18 and lived with a man who made a habit of taking in young men as lodgers and slowly grooming us past our sexual boundaries.

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