Katherine Ryan

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Katherine Ryan
Katherine Ryan 2014.jpg
Ryan in November 2014
Katherine Louisa Ryan

(1983-06-30) 30 June 1983 (age 39)
  • Canadian
  • Irish[1]
Alma materRyerson University
  • Comedian
  • writer
  • actress
  • presenter
Partner(s)Bobby Kootstra
(civil partnership; 2019)

Katherine Louisa Ryan (born 30 June 1983)[2] is a Canadian comedian, writer, presenter, and actress based in the United Kingdom.[3][4]

She has appeared on many British panel shows, including as a regular team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, A League of Their Own, Mock the Week, 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, Ryan has appeared on numerous television series in the UK, including the sitcoms Campus, Episodes, and her Netflix show The Duchess.

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. She has had two live stand-up specials released on Netflix: Katherine Ryan: In Trouble (2017) and Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room (2019).

Early life[edit]

Ryan's father, Finbar,[5] is a draughtsman and owner of an engineering company who originally emigrated from Ireland to Canada.[6] Her mother Julie McCarthy is British[7]/Canadian and owns an IT consulting company.[8] Ryan and her two younger sisters were born and raised in Sarnia, Ontario.[9] The three siblings spent time in Cork, Ireland, visiting their paternal grandparents.[10]

Ryan's parents separated when she was a teenager.[11] When she was 18, she decided to leave home and chose to study city planning at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) in Toronto.[12][13] While attending university, she worked at restaurant chain Hooters, and she then began training other waitresses.[14] In her spare time she undertook open mic nights as an alternative form of personal entertainment, and by graduation, she had developed a basic comedic routine.[8] She was one of the many dancers in MuchMusic's Electric Circus program.[15]


After graduation, Ryan continued working for Hooters as a corporate trainer, travelling around Canada to train other waitresses, and helping to open the then-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.[8][4]

As a comedian[edit]

Ryan performing stand-up in 2012

Ryan won the Funny Women award in 2008, Rachel Stubbings and Sara Pascoe were her runners up.[16]

Ryan first appeared on television as herself in multiple episodes of the Canadian music video review show Video on Trial between season one in 2005 and her last appearance in 2008 in season three. After relocating to England, she first appeared on Channel 4's 8 Out of 10 Cats in 2012. She had previously appeared in the cast of 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.[17] Ryan was later featured on the Whitney Cummings Just for Laughs 2013 Gala that was taped before a live audience on 28 July 2013.[18][19] She has since taken new routines to the Edinburgh Festival.[8]

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.[20] In 2016, Ryan appeared on series 2 of Taskmaster. She beat Doc Brown, Joe Wilkinson, Richard Osman and Jon Richardson, to win the season.[21]

Ryan went on a comedy tour in 2016, called Kathbum, a name her toddler sister used to call her.[22] In February 2017, Netflix released Katherine Ryan: In Trouble, featuring her stand-up comedy live performance at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, during that tour.[23][24]

She joined Jimmy Carr in 2017 to host four series of the reboot of Your Face or Mine?. In 2018, Ryan joined American comedy panel show, The Fix as a team captain. In July 2019, Netflix released her second live stand-up special, Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room.[25]


As an actress, Ryan has appeared on numerous television series in the UK, including the sitcoms Campus,[26][27] Episodes[28] and Badults.[29] Ryan stars in the August 2020 season 1, Netflix comedy The Duchess, based on a single mother's life in London; she is credited as its writer, executive producer, and creator.[30]

Other work[edit]

Ryan wrote a weekly column in the British entertainment magazine NME.[31]

On 6 June 2014, YouTube comedy duo Jack and Dean released a music video for their song "Consent" featuring Ryan in an acting role.[32]

In 2016, Ryan featured in Disney XD and Teletoon's animated television series Counterfeit Cat, where she voiced Ranceford, the stuck-up, white, odd-eyed cat and leader of the Sunshine Circle for Cats.

In 2021, Ryan hosted the six-part reality competition All That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star on BBC2.[33]

She will present the ITV2 dating show Ready to Mingle.[34]


For her comedy work, Ryan won the Nivea Funny Women Award. She was also runner-up in the Amused Moose Laugh-Off competition in 2008.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Ryan has previously dated actor and TV presenter Jeff Leach[36] and had a relationship with comedian Alex Edelman.[37]

In 2019, Ryan entered into a civil partnership with Bobby Kootstra. The ceremony took place in Denmark in the presence of her daughter. The two had dated in Canada as teenagers and were reunited when Ryan returned to her hometown while filming an episode of the TV show Who Do You Think You Are?[38][39] Ryan lives with her partner and daughter in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.[40][41] Her second child, a son, was born in June 2021.[42] In July 2022, Ryan announced that she was expecting her third child.[43]

Ryan has been open about the cosmetic surgery she has had.[44] She had a breast augmentation in her early 20s,[45] and then a second augmentation after a relationship ended.[46]

She has been treated for skin cancer twice.[7][47]


Year Name Role Notes
2009–2011 Campus George Bryan
2012 Episodes Merc's assistant
2012–2014 Never Mind the Buzzcocks Panelist
2013 Count Arthur Strong Tourist woman
Badults Lucy
2013, 2017 QI Contestant
2014 Duck Quacks Don't Echo Panelist
Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled Panelist
Live at the Apollo Guest With host Jack Whitehall and fellow guest, Rich Hall
2015 Hair Host
Bring the Noise Panelist
Live at the Apollo Host With guests Henning Wehn and James Acaster
2015–2016 Safeword Team captain
2015–2017 Jack Dee's Election Helpdesk Regular panelist
2016 Sunny D Kerry
The Chase Contestant
It's Not Me, It's You Guest team captain
Comedy Central at the Comedy Store Host, self
2016–2017 Counterfeit Cat Ranceford, Nelson, various
2016, 2017, 2019 Taskmaster Contestant Series 2 champion
Contestant in two-part Champion of Champions special
Stand-in for Katy Wix in Series 9 episode
2016, 2018 Would I Lie to You? Panelist
2017 How'd You Get So Rich? (UK) Presenter
The Big Fat Quiz of Everything Contestant
The Fake News Show Team captain, panelist
All Star Driving School Narrator
Tipping Point Contestant
Insert Name Here Panelist
Noel at the Apollo Host with Marlon Davis, Joel Dommett and John Robins.
2018 Dara O Briain's Go 8 Bit Panelist
Beyond Bionic Narrator
The Fix Self, co-captain
2020 The Duchess Katherine
Urban Myths Joan Rivers
2021 All That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star Host With judges Shaun Leane and Solange Azagury-Partridge [48][49]
2022 Backstage with Katherine Ryan Katherine Ryan
Big Zuu's Big Eats Herself [50]
All That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star Host with judges Shaun Leane and Dinny Hall
TBA Joe and Katherine’s Bargain Holidays Co-presenter With Joe Wilkinson[51]


  1. ^ "Katherine Ryan: Your questions answered". The Guardian. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  2. ^ "Katherine Ryan - Who Do You Think You Are - "My daughter gives me a hard time about not being English. Well now I can tell her I am English – and from a castle no less..."". www.thegenealogist.co.uk. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  3. ^ Moore-Bridger, Benedict; Groskop, Viv (7 August 2014). "TV Katherine Ryan gives her cheating boyfriend a star role in new show". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b Dessau, Bruce (25 March 2014). "New Interview: Katherine Ryan". Beyond The Joke. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Series 6, Episode 7". Room 101: Extra Storage. 7 September 2018. BBC One.
  6. ^ Power, Ed (8 September 2020). "Katherine Ryan on her Cork roots and new Netflix show The Duchess". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  7. ^ a b Harding, Oscar (13 January 2013). "Exclusive interview with Katherine Ryan". What Culture. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d Viv Groskop (7 August 2014). "Meet the queen of confessional comedy: Katherine Ryan". Evening Standard.
  9. ^ Tripathi, Prizmi (11 September 2020). "Is Katherine Ryan Married? Does She Have Kids?". TheCinemaHolic.com. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  10. ^ Was It Something I Said? (Series 1, Episode 4)
  11. ^ Demchuk, Colin (producer, director); Ryan, Katherine (writer, performer) (14 February 2017). Katherine Ryan: In Trouble (Television production). Netflix. Statement occurs at time 57:25.
  12. ^ Hayes, Martha (30 March 2019). "'Anyone else would have kicked him out': celebrity flatmates reveal all". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  13. ^ Chiu, Sheri (10 May 2017). "interview | katherine ryan". Schön! Magazine. Retrieved 15 October 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ Bunbury, Stephanie (30 March 2015). "Melbourne International Comedy Festival: Why Katherine Ryan owes her comedy career to Hooters". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  15. ^ "The Bringer Of Spiders". Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled. Season 1. Episode 3. 18 June 2014. Event occurs at 4:21. Dave.
  16. ^ Guide, British Comedy (18 April 2016). "Funny Women Awards". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  17. ^ Groskop, Viv (7 August 2014). "Meet the queen of confessional comedy: Katherine Ryan". London Evening Standard.
  18. ^ Duguay, Denise (29 July 2013). "Just for Laughs closes with ... sex". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  19. ^ "Whitney Cummings Gala Press Release". Hahaha.com. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  20. ^ Dessau, Bruce (4 June 2015). "New Game Show For Katherine Ryan, Rick Edwards, David Morgan". beyondthejoke.co.uk.
  21. ^ Lee, Ben (11 March 2016). "Richard Osman will take on Katherine Ryan in Taskmaster". Digital Spy. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  22. ^ Demchuk, Colin (producer, director); Ryan, Katherine (writer, performer) (14 February 2017). Katherine Ryan: In Trouble (Television production). Netflix. Statement occurs at time 57:05.
  23. ^ Wicks, Amanda. "Katherine Ryan Doesn't Bite Her Tongue". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  24. ^ McCarthy, Sean L. (17 February 2017). "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. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  25. ^ Husband, Andrew. "Katherine Ryan Is Up For The Challenge Of Winning Over Her 'Glitter Room' Audience". Forbes. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  26. ^ Mellor, Louisa (12 April 2011). "Campus episode 2 review: The Culling Fields". Den of Geek. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  27. ^ "Channel 4 goes off Campus : News 2011". Chortle. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  28. ^ "Slipping makes her smile – Arts and Comedy". The News. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  29. ^ Richardson, Jay (5 February 2014). "Katherine Ryan joins Badults". Chortle. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  30. ^ "The Duchess | Netflix Official Site". www.netflix.com. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  31. ^ "Katherine Ryan, Author at NME". NME. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  32. ^ Jack and Dean (6 June 2014), Consent – JACK AND DEAN, retrieved 26 October 2017
  33. ^ "All That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star Season 1". Radio Times.[dead link]
  34. ^ Darvill, Josh (28 August 2021). "Ready to Mingle: ITV2's new dating game show with a big twist". TellyMix. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  35. ^ "Funny Women Awards head to Bath for talent show heat". BBC News. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  36. ^ "Katherine Ryan Pictures | Photo Gallery". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  37. ^ Saunders, Tristram Fane (28 January 2020). "Comedian Alex Edelman on antisemitism, millennials and being treated badly by the Baftas". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  38. ^ Levine, Nick. "Why Katherine Ryan Chose A Civil Partnership Over Marriage". refinery29. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  39. ^ Barr, Sabrina (13 December 2019). "Katherine Ryan chose civil partnership as she 'didn't need to pretend to be a virgin'". The Independent. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  40. ^ ITV GMB Lorraine interview 14 September 2020
  41. ^ "Katherine Ryan comes out fighting for local garden centre". 18 February 2020.
  42. ^ Green, Alex (14 June 2021). "Katherine Ryan shares baby news two weeks after pregnancy announcement". Evening Standard. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  43. ^ "Katherine Ryan reveals she's pregnant with third child at 39". 21 July 2022.
  44. ^ Bruce Dessau (28 August 2018). "Katherine Ryan on cosmetic surgery, conquering Netflix and why her life is a Glitter Room". Evening Standard. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  45. ^ Alice Jones (17 September 2018). "Katherine Ryan: 'I don't hate men. I'm afraid of them in a way. I know what they're capable of'". The i. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  46. ^ "Katherine Ryan Got a Boob Job Because of Her Ex - How Many Questions". YouTube. 18 December 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  47. ^ "Comic Katherine Ryan looks on the bright side". Reading Chronicle. Berkshire Media Group. 23 February 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  48. ^ "That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  49. ^ "All That Glitters - Meet the judges and jewellers of series two". bbc.co.uk/mediacentre. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  50. ^ "Big Zuu's Big Eats". uktv.co.uk. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  51. ^ "Katherine Ryan and Joe Wilkinson to seek out the best bargain holidays for Channel 4". channel4.com. Retrieved 11 July 2022.

External links[edit]