Katherine Ryan

Last updated

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

(1983-06-30) 30 June 1983 (age 37)
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Occupationwriter, presenter, actress
Partner(s)Wade McElwain (Divorced) Bobby Kootstra (civil partnership, 2019) [1]
Website www.katherineryan.co.uk OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

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


She has appeared on many British panel shows including as a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats and guest appearances on 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 and 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. She has had two live stand-up specials released on Netflix  Katherine Ryan: In Trouble (2017) and Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room (2019).

Early life

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

Her parents separated when she was a teenager. [9] When she was 18 years old, she decided to leave home and chose to study city planning at the University of Toronto. [10] While attending university, she worked at restaurant chain Hooters and then began training other waitresses. She was fired from Hooters for writing "club sandwiches not seals" on the lunch board. [11] 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. [6]


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. [6] [4]

As a comedian

Ryan performing stand-up in 2012 Katherine Ryan, Scoundrels, 2012.jpg
Ryan performing stand-up in 2012

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 3. 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. [12] Ryan was later featured on the Whitney Cummings Just for Laughs 2013 Gala that was taped before a live audience on 28 July 2013. [13] [14] She has since taken new routines to the Edinburgh Festival. [6]

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 . [15] 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. [16]

Ryan went on a comedy tour in 2016, called Kathbum, a name her toddler sister used to call her. [17] 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. [18] [19] [19]

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 . [20]


As an actress, Ryan has appeared on numerous television series in the UK, including the sitcoms Campus , [21] [22] Episodes [23] and Badults.

Other work

Ryan wrote a weekly column in the British entertainment magazine NME . [24]

On 6 June 2014, YouTube comedy duo Jack and Dean released a music video for their song "Consent", featuring Ryan in an acting role. [25]

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


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. [26]

Personal life

Ryan has a daughter, Violet, with Canadian TV producer and comedian Wade McElwain whom she married. [27] She and her daughter live in Crouch End, London. [28]

Ryan has previously dated british actor Jeff Leach [29]

Ryan had what she described as an on/off relationship with American stand-up Alex Edelman. It is mainly on/off “because of geography."

In 2019, Ryan entered into a civil partnership with Bobby Kootstra. The ceremony took place in Denmark in presence of her daughter. She and Koostra 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? .

Ryan has been open about the cosmetic surgery she has had. [30] She had a breast augmentation in her early 20s, [31] and then a second augmentation after a relationship ended. [32]

She has faced two bouts of skin cancer. [33] [34]

Related Research Articles

Jimmy Carr British comedian

James Anthony Patrick Carr is an English comedian, writer and television presenter. He is known for his dark humour, distinctive laugh, and heckler interaction. Carr moved to a career in comedy in 2000.

Nina Wadia British actress

Nina Wadia is a British actress, known for playing Zainab Masood in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, Mrs Hussein in the Open All Hours spin-off Still Open All Hours, and for starring in the BBC Two sketch show Goodness Gracious Me. Additionally, Wadia appeared in the Hindi-language romantic comedy Namaste London (2007). She also appeared in TV series "Origin" (2018).

Olivia Colman English actress

Sarah Caroline Olivia Sinclair,, known professionally as Olivia Colman, is an English actress and narrator. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, four BAFTA Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, four British Independent Film Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Volpi Cup, and a BFI Fellowship.

Maria Bamford American actress and comedian

Maria Elizabeth Sheldon Bamford is an American stand-up comedian, actress, and voice actress. She is best known for her portrayal of her dysfunctional family and self-deprecating comedy involving jokes about depression and anxiety.

Mindy Kaling American actress, writer, producer, and comedian

Vera Mindy Chokalingam, known professionally as Mindy Kaling, is an American actress, writer, producer, and comedian.

Sarah Millican English comedian

Sarah Jane Millican is an English comedian. Millican won the comedy award for Best Newcomer at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In February 2013 she was listed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Radio 4's Woman's Hour, and in the same year married fellow comedian Gary Delaney. Her first book, How to Be Champion, was released in 2017, and Millican has performed on various tours mainly throughout the United Kingdom over the years.

Jessie Buckley Irish actress

Jessie Buckley is an Irish actress. Her career began in 2008 as a contestant on the BBC TV talent show I'd Do Anything in which she placed second. In the same year she appeared in the West End revival of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music. After some other theatre roles she suspended her professional career to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, from which she graduated in 2013. In 2020, she was listed at number 38 on The Irish Times list of Ireland's greatest film actors.

Iliza Vie Shlesinger is an American comedian, actress, and television host. Born in New York City, she was raised in Dallas, Texas. Shlesinger was the 2008 winner of NBC's Last Comic Standing and went on to host the syndicated dating show Excused and the TBS game show Separation Anxiety.

Jack Whitehall English comedian, television presenter and actor

Jack Peter Benedict Whitehall is an English comedian, television presenter, actor and writer. He is best known for his stand up comedy, for starring as JP in the TV series Fresh Meat (2011–2016), and for playing Alfie Wickers in the TV series Bad Education (2012–2014) and the spin-off film The Bad Education Movie (2015), both of which he also co-wrote.

Bridget Christie British writer and comedian

Bridget Louise Christie is an English stand-up comedian, actress and writer. She has written and performed 12 Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows and several comedy tours, in addition to radio and television work. She has received multiple British and international comedy awards and is also an award-winning newspaper columnist and author.

Viv Groskop is a British journalist, writer and comedian. She has written for publications including The Guardian, Evening Standard, The Observer, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Red magazine. She writes on arts, books, popular culture and current affairs, often with a feminist slant. She is a stand-up comedian, MC and improviser who was a finalist in Funny Women 2012 and semi-finalist in So You Think You're Funny 2012. She is an agony aunt for The Pool and host of the Mint Velvet clothing podcast "We are Women".

Sara Pascoe English comedian and actress

Sara Patricia Pascoe is an English comedian and actress. She has appeared on TV programmes such as 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown for Channel 4, QI for BBC and Taskmaster for the digital channel Dave.

Roisin Marcella Conaty is an English comedian, writer, and actor. She won the Best Newcomer Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010 for her show 'Hero, Warrior, Fireman, Liar'. In early 2014, the pilot of the sitcom GameFace, of which she is the writer, lead actress and executive producer, aired on Channel 4. The first full series aired in 2017 on both E4 and Hulu in the US. The second series aired on Channel 4 and Hulu in July 2019. Conaty won the 'Heat Unmissables' Comedian of the year award in 2019. She stars as Roxy in the Ricky Gervais Netflix show 'Afterlife'

Diane Morgan is an English actress, comedian, and writer, known primarily for her comedy persona of Philomena Cunk – on Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe, appearing as presenter of the mockumentaries Cunk on Christmas, Cunk on Shakespeare, Cunk on Britain and Cunk and Other Humans. She also works regularly with fellow comedian Joe Wilkinson as part of the sketch group "Two Episodes of Mash".

Ellie Taylor is an English comedian, television personality, actress, and writer. She has appeared in numerous television shows, including 8 Out of 10 Cats (2010–2012), Fake Reaction (2013–2014), Virtually Famous (2015–2017), Mock the Week (2015–2018), The Lodge (2016-2017), Stand Up Central (2017), and The Mash Report (2017–present). Taylor has also presented television shows such as Snog Marry Avoid? (2012–2013) and Live at the Apollo (2016–2018). Since 2018, she has played the role of Gloria in the ITV2 series Plebs.

Aisling Bea Irish actress, comedian and writer

Aisling Cliodhnadh O'Sullivan, known professionally as Aisling Bea, is an Irish comedian, actor, and screenwriter.

Natasia Demetriou British comedian, actress, and screenwriter

Natasia Charlotte Demetriou is an English-Cypriot comedian, actress and screenwriter. She is best known for her starring role as Nadja in the FX horror mockumentary series What We Do in the Shadows (2019–present), which is based on the film of the same name. She also stars as Sophie in the BAFTA-nominated Channel 4 sitcom Stath Lets Flats (2018–present), alongside her brother Jamie Demetriou.

<i>Insatiable</i> (TV series) American black comedy-drama web television series

Insatiable is an American dark comedy-drama web television series created by Lauren Gussis, starring Dallas Roberts and Debby Ryan. It is based on the 2014 New York Times article "The Pageant King of Alabama" by Jeff Chu. The first season premiered on Netflix on August 10, 2018. In September 2018, the series was renewed for a second season, which premiered on October 11, 2019. In February 2020, Netflix cancelled the series after two seasons.

Rosie Jones is a British comedian from Bridlington. She has written for panel shows Harry Hill's Alien Fun Capsule, Would I Lie to You?, The Last Leg and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and has appeared as a guest on The Last Leg, 8 Out of 10 Cats, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Hypothetical. Jones has performed stand-up comedy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, incorporating her cerebral palsy into her comedic style; in 2018, she was featured on Edinburgh Nights. She has also appeared on other television shows, wrote an episode of Sex Education and hosts the podcast Daddy Look at Me with Helen Bauer.

Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room is a Netflix stand-up comedy special by Canadian comic Katherine Ryan, her second Netflix stand-up special for Netflix following Katherine Ryan: In Trouble. Glitter Room was filmed in Los Angeles, and Katherine Ryan keeps the material largely light-hearted, even though it contains uncomfortable subjects too. It was released on July 1, 2019 on Netflix streaming.


  1. Levine, Nick. "Why Katherine Ryan Chose A Civil Partnership Over Marriage". refinery29. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  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. 1 2 "New Interview: Katherine Ryan". Beyond The Joke.
  5. "Series 6, Episode 7". Room 101: Extra Storage. 7 September 2018. BBC One.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Viv Groskop (7 August 2014). "Meet the queen of confessional comedy: Katherine Ryan". Evening Standard.
  7. "Comedy review: Katherine Ryan – News". Scotsman.com. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  8. Was It Something I Said? (Series 1, Episode 4)
  9. Demchuk, Colin (producer, director); Ryan, Katherine (writer, performer) (14 February 2017). Katherine Ryan: In Trouble (Television production). Netflix. Statement occurs at time 57:25.
  10. How She Fell Into Comedy, 28 September 2018, retrieved 9 January 2019
  11. mistervincenoir (7 January 2017), The Big Fat Quiz of Everything 2017 , retrieved 23 May 2018
  12. Groskop, Viv (7 August 2014). "Meet the queen of confessional comedy: Katherine Ryan". London Evening Standard.
  13. Duguay, Denise (29 July 2013). "Just for Laughs closes with ... sex". Montreal Gazette . Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  14. "Whitney Cummings Gala Press Release". Hahaha.com. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  15. Dessau, Bruce (4 June 2015). "New Game Show For Katherine Ryan, Rick Edwards, David Morgan". beyondthejoke.co.uk.
  16. "Richard Osman will take on Katherine Ryan in Taskmaster". Digital Spy. 11 March 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  17. Demchuk, Colin (producer, director); Ryan, Katherine (writer, performer) (14 February 2017). Katherine Ryan: In Trouble (Television production). Netflix. Statement occurs at time 57:05.
  18. "Katherine Ryan Doesn't Bite Her Tongue". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  19. 1 2 "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. 17 February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  20. Husband, Andrew. "Katherine Ryan Is Up For The Challenge Of Winning Over Her 'Glitter Room' Audience". Forbes. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  21. Mellor, Louisa (12 April 2011). "Campus episode 2 review: The Culling Fields". Den of Geek. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  22. "Channel 4 goes off Campus : News 2011". Chortle. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  23. "Slipping makes her smile – Arts and Comedy". The News . 1 February 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  24. "Katherine Ryan, Author at NME". NME. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  25. Jack and Dean (6 June 2014), Consent – JACK AND DEAN , retrieved 26 October 2017
  26. "Funny Women Awards head to Bath for talent show heat". BBC News. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  27. "Katherine Ryan: In Trouble". Netflix. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  28. 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 . Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  29. "New Interview: Katherine Ryan". Beyond The Joke. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  30. Bruce Dessau (28 August 2018). "Katherine Ryan on cosmetic surgery, conquering Netflix and why her life is a Glitter Room". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  31. 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.
  32. "Katherine Ryan Got a Boob Job Because of Her Ex - How Many Questions". YouTube. 18 December 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  33. Harding, Oscar. "Exclusive interview with Katherine Ryan". What Culture. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  34. "Comic Katherine Ryan looks on the bright side". Reading Chronicle . Berkshire Media Group. 23 February 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2014.