Katherine Ryan

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Katherine Ryan
Katherine Ryan 2014.jpg
Ryan in 2014
Born (1983-06-30) June 30, 1983 (age 33)
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian, Irish
Children 1
Website www.katherineryan.co.uk

Katherine Ryan (born June 30, 1983) is a Canadian comedian, writer, presenter and actress, based in the United Kingdom.[1] She has appeared on British panel shows including Mock the Week, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, A League of Their Own, 8 Out of 10 Cats, Would I Lie to You?, QI, Just a Minute, Safeword , and Have I Got News For You. In 2015, she replaced Steve Jones as the presenter of Hair on BBC Two. As an actress, she has appeared in the Channel 4 sitcom Campus,[2][3] BBC Two sitcom Episodes[4] and Don't Sit in the Front Row with Jack Dee.[4]

As a stand-up comedian, Ryan has appeared on the BBC's Live at the Apollo, both as a featured act and as a lead act. For her work, Ryan won the Nivea Funny Women Award,[5] and was also runner-up in the Amused Moose Laugh-Off competition in 2008.[6] In February 2017, Netflix released "Katherine Ryan: In Trouble" which features one of her live stand-up performances on a recent UK tour.[7][8]

Early life[edit]

The daughter of an Irish-immigrant draughtsman father who owns an engineering company and a Canadian-born mother of Irish/English descent who owns an IT Consulting company.[9] Ryan and her two younger sisters were born and raised in Sarnia, Ontario.[10] The three siblings spent time in Cork, Ireland visiting their paternal grandparents.[11]

Her parents split up when she was 15. When she was 18 years old, she decided to leave home and chose to study city planning in Toronto.[citation needed] While attending university, she worked at Hooters and then began training other waitresses. In her spare time, she undertook open mic nights as an alternative form of personal entertainment and by graduation had developed a basic comedic routine.[9]


After graduation, Ryan continued working for Hooters as a corporate trainer, travelling around Canada to train other waitresses, and helping to open the only UK branch in Nottingham. Her partner at the time wanted to explore London, so she agreed to do so for an initial month from summer 2007, moving there permanently from January 2008.[9][1]

As a comedian[edit]

Ryan performing stand-up in 2012

Ryan first appeared on television on Channel 4's 8 Out of 10 Cats in 2012. Soon after, she gained acting roles in Channel 4’s Campus. On 23 February 2013, she appeared as a celebrity contestant on BBC One's Let's Dance for Comic Relief as Nicki Minaj dancing to "Starships". Ryan reached the final, and finished in fourth place. Ryan was later featured on the Whitney Cummings Just for Laughs 2013 Gala that was taped before a live audience on 28 July 2013.[12][13] She has since taken new routines to the Edinburgh Festival.[9]

In 2015, Ryan replaced Steve Jones as the presenter of Hair on BBC Two. Also in 2015, Ryan became a panellist for Tinie Tempah's team on Sky 1's music/comedy panel show Bring the Noise and on the ITV2 show, Safeword.[citation needed] In 2016, Ryan appeared on series 2 of Taskmaster. She beat Doc Brown, Joe Wilkinson, Richard Osman and Jon Richardson, to win the entire series.[14]

She also went on a comedy tour in 2016, called Kathbum. In February 2017, Netflix released "Katherine Ryan: In Trouble," featuring one of her stand-up comedy live performances on a recent UK tour.[8]

She joined Jimmy Carr in 2017, to host two series of the reboot of Your Face or Mine?

Other work[edit]

Ryan wrote a weekly column in the British entertainment magazine NME.[15]


Ryan attracted press attention, controversy and "death threats" when she made a joke regarding cosmetic testing that was labelled racist;[16] Ryan said “We don’t use any of our products on animals. We use Filipino children,” in a segment called “unlikely lines from a cosmetics commercial.”[16] Ryan later defended her comment as a joke that was taken out of context on Twitter[17] and also addressed it in her Netflix special.[7]


Ryan won the 2008 Nivea Funny Women Award at the Comedy Store.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Ryan has a daughter, Violet, by an ex-boyfriend.[18] She has faced two bouts of skin cancer.[19][20] She and her daughter live in Crouch End, London.[21]



  1. ^ a b "New Interview: Katherine Ryan". Beyond The Joke. 
  2. ^ Mellor, Louisa (12 April 2011). "Campus episode 2 review: The Culling Fields". Den of Geek. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Channel 4 goes off Campus : News 2011". Chortle. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Slipping makes her smile – Arts and Comedy". The News. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Female comic is tickled pink". thesun.co.uk. 
  6. ^ "BBC – Funny Women Awards head to Bath for talent show heat". BBC News. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Katherine Ryan Doesn’t Bite Her Tongue". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  8. ^ a b "Cheeky Comedy Doesn’t Get Katherine Ryan Into Too Much ‘Trouble’ For Netflix". Decider | Where To Stream Movies & Shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant, HBO Go. 2017-02-17. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  9. ^ a b c d Viv Groskop (7 August 2014). "Meet the queen of confessional comedy: Katherine Ryan". Evening Standard. 
  10. ^ "Comedy review: Katherine Ryan – News". Scotsman.com. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  11. ^ Was It Something I Said? (Series 1, Episode 4)
  12. ^ Duguay, Denise (29 July 2013). "Just for Laughs closes with ... sex". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Whitney Cummings Gala Press Release". Hahaha.com. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Richard Osman will take on Katherine Ryan in Taskmaster". Digital Spy. 2016-03-11. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  15. ^ "Katherine Ryan, Author at NME". NME. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  16. ^ a b Solutions, Powder Blue Internet Business. "Ryan gets death threats over Mock the Week gag : News 2013 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". www.chortle.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  17. ^ ABS-CBNnews.com, By Ivy Jean Vibar,. "Pinoys mock 'racist' joke on UK comedy show". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  18. ^ "Katherine Ryan: In Trouble". <
  19. ^ Harding, Oscar. "Exclusive interview with Katherine Ryan". What Culture. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  20. ^ "Comic Katherine Ryan looks on the bright side". Reading Chronicle. Berkshire Media Group. 23 February 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  21. ^ Moore-Bridger, Benedict; Groskop, Viv (7 August 2014). "TV comedian Katherine Ryan gives her cheating boyfriend a star role in new show". London Evening Standard. Alexander Lebedev, Evgeny Lebedev and Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 

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