Ryan in 2014
|Born||30 June 1983|
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Katherine Ryan (born 30 June 1983) is a Canadian-Irish comedian, writer, presenter and actress, based in the UK. 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 and the BBC Two sitcom Episodes.
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, and was also runner-up in the Amused Moose Laugh-Off competition in 2008. In February 2017, Netflix released Katherine Ryan: In Trouble, which features one of her live stand-up performances on a recent UK tour.
Ryan's father, Finbar, is a draftsman and owner of an engineering company, who originally emigrated from Ireland to Canada. Her mother is Canadian and owns an IT consulting company. Ryan and her two younger sisters were born and raised in Sarnia, Ontario. The three siblings spent time in Cork, Ireland visiting their paternal grandparents.
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 at the University of Toronto. While attending university, she worked at restaurant chain Hooters and then began training other waitresses. She was fired from Hooters for writing on her breasts "club sandwiches not seals". 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.
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.
As a comedian
Ryan first appeared on television as herself 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. Ryan was later featured on the Whitney Cummings Just for Laughs 2013 Gala that was taped before a live audience on 28 July 2013. She has since taken new routines to the Edinburgh Festival.
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. 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.
In 2018, Ryan joined American comedy panel show, The Fix as a team captain.
Ryan has been open about the cosmetic surgery she has had, saying "if everyone was transparent [about it] there would be a lot less fuss." She had a breast augmentation in her early 20s and then a second augmentation after a relationship ended.
On season 1 episode 6 of Comedy Central's Roast Battle, Ryan announced that she was dating one of the contestants, fellow comedian Alex Edelman. Later, in British tabloid The Sun she said "I don't see him but he's allegedly my boyfriend. We've been on-and-off for three years, so he's in some of my stories and then he's not. But he's definitely the best one I've ever dated."
Ryan can speak fluent French.
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- "Going To The Playboy Mansion - Romesh Talks To Katherine Ryan". YouTube. BBC3. 8 September 2017.