Baby Reindeer star Jessica Gunning insists she was not doing an impression of the ‘real Martha’ and knew nothing about the Scottish stalker despite her convincing depiction

Her portrayal of stalker Martha in Netflix hit Baby Reindeer has been lauded for its chilling similarity to the person it was supposedly based on.

But Jessica Gunning has insisted she knew nothing about the ‘real Martha’, Fiona Harvey, despite her convincing depiction of the Scottish lawyer – down to the intonations of her accent.

Ms Gunning, 38, said: ‘I absolutely saw Martha as a character, I wasn’t doing an impersonation of a real person. She was very clear to me in the script, but I genuinely didn’t know anything about the real person.

‘And I didn’t feel like we were re-enacting scenes for some documentary, it felt like we were doing interpretations of these characters in this emotionally true world.’

Despite her performance of stalker Martha being widely praised as chillingly similar to the source character, Jessica Gunning insists she never met the ‘real Martha’ Fiona Harvey

But the show has come under pressure for not doing enough to protect the identities of the people it was based on, as fans easily tracked down Ms Harvey, 58, on social media after the show aired.

Ms Gunning said writer and creator Richard Gadd ‘deliberately changed identities for a reason’. ‘But of course, in this day and age, it’s inevitable, especially with a show this big, that people are intrigued by who the real people are,’ she told Radio Times.

Gadd, who stars as himself, claims the series is based on his experience of being relentlessly stalked by a woman while he struggled to become a comedian.

Journalist Fiona Harvey was identified as the inspiration behind Richard Gadd's character

Journalist Fiona Harvey was identified as the inspiration behind Richard Gadd’s character

Ms Harvey was identified as the inspiration for the character, which Gadd has not confirmed, after social media posts she made were used verbatim in the show.

Ms Harvey has admitted she is the real Martha but vehemently denies she stalked Gadd, attacked his girlfriend, destroyed the bar he worked in or harassed his parents as the series claims.

She has reportedly hired lawyers to sue Gadd, Netflix and production company Clerkenwell Films.