‘Baby Reindeer’ creator Richard Gadd’s new show to be co-produced by HBO and BBC
(Credits: Netflix)

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'Baby Reindeer' creator Richard Gadd's new show to be co-produced by HBO and BBC

After shocking the world with his real-life story, Baby Reindeer, comedian, actor and screenwriter Richard Gadd is eyeing up his next project, Lions. His first show, which documented the stranger-than-fiction story of his former stalker, was a huge hit for Netflix, but the BBC and HBO have snapped up his next project. 

Baby Reindeer was based on Gadd’s one-man show, which saw the dark comedy in his recent life experiences and debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019. Naturally, he won’t be able to draw from his own experiences forever. Instead, Lions follows the story of two men, Niall and Ruben, spanning several decades. 

“When Niall’s estranged ‘brother’ Ruben shows up at his wedding, it leads to an explosion of violence that catapults us back through their lives,” the synopsis issued by HBO reads. Covering around 40 years, the show will examine the “highs and lows of the brothers’ relationship, from them meeting as teenagers to their falling out as adults”. Gadd hopes to “capture the wild energy of a changing city – a changing world, even – and try to get to the bottom of the difficult question, ‘What does it mean to be a man?’”

Lindsay Salt, who commissioned Baby Reindeer for Netflix, now works as the director of drama at the BBC. With her former contact with Gadd, she helped win the forthcoming project for the BBC in the UK and HBO in the US. “We are delighted that HBO are joining us to bring Richard Gadd’s exquisite Lions scripts to the screen,” she said in a new statement. “This is bold, brilliant, one-of-a-kind storytelling, and we can’t wait for viewers to see it.”

Meanwhile, Kara Buckley, senior vice president of HBO’s drama programming, echoed similar sentiments. “We are tremendously excited to partner with the BBC and Richard Gadd, whose remarkable talent continues to make waves across the globe,” she said in a new statement. “With this new, gripping and evocative series, we are proud to welcome Richard to the HBO family.”

Gadd has also issued a statement in reaction to the news. “Ordering an HBO boxset of The Sopranos, The Wire, or Oz and watching it from start to finish were some of the happiest moments of my childhood,” he revealed. “Since then, it has always been a dream of mine to work with HBO and be part of their iconic roster of shows.”

He concluded by expressing his “gratitude to Francesca Orsi, Kara Buckley and Clint LaVigne for taking this chance on the show.” He also thanked Ruben and Niall, his new story’s focus, because “despite growing up in a dead-end Scottish town — would be absolutely pinching themselves at this! I cannot wait to get started.”

Gadd is currently writing Lions and will executive produce the project alongside Tally Garner and Morven Reid of Mam Tor Productions, Gaynor Holmes for the BBC, and Gavin Smith for BBC Scotland. Alexandra Brodski and Eshref Reybrouck will direct the series, with Wendy Griffin as the producer.