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Katherine Ryan says the ‘phone didn’t stop ringing’ after she appeared on 8 out of 10 cats

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Comedy star Katherine Ryan. Photo by: Ian West/PA

Comedy star Katherine Ryan. Photo by: Ian West/PA

Comedy star Katherine Ryan. Photo by: Ian West/PA

Katherine Ryan has said going on Jimmy Carr’s 8 out of 10 cats was her first big break in the UK, and after she appeared on the show her phone “didn’t stop ringing”.

After appearing on the show, the Canadian comedian said it was hard to accept that people thought she “looked like a cartoon horse” but that Jimmy Carr told her “it’s good to look like a cartoon”.

Speaking to Angela Scanlon on her Thanks a Million podcast, Katherine said: “Jimmy Carr, in this country [the UK] in 2012 gave me my first job on 8 out of 10 cats and the phone didn't stop ringing after that.

"And he always said to me, ‘no, it's good to look like a cartoon, it's good to have three things that audiences remember about you’.

"For me, they like knowing that I'm Canadian and I'm a single mom and I'm very glamorous or my face is really long.

“We all have these identifiable characteristics that set us apart and they're kind of cartoony.

“And if you're brought up to be, you know, a woman in society where you see again reinforced that you should be quiet and kind and soft and pretty, then it's really difficult to accept that you kind of just look a bit like a cartoon horse."

The comedian, who has her own podcast, said her stand-up is almost a persona, and that she’s much softer in real life and on her podcast.

“That’s why I say ‘TV's Katherine Ryan’, because it's a bit like a Sasha Fierce,” she explained.

"TV's Katherine Ryan has to be one way. I don't feel like audiences who want to go to see stand-up really want a podcast experience. So I'm softer for example on my podcast than in real life.

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"But when I do stand up, I have to be very absolute, caustic, spiky. I need punchlines. I feel like that's what stand-up comedy is. And for people to watch that and think that you behave exactly that way all the time is a bit wild to me.”

The comedian, who has an 11-year-old daughter Violet and gave birth to a baby boy called Fred this year, said she worries for him as he’s only known “the sweet life”.

“With Violet, we lived in this teeny tiny one-bedroom flat and I really struggled,” she said.

"I was counting every penny that came into the house. I think when you're poor, that's when you are a forensic accountant, I knew everything that was going on.

"I was very high stressed and we had no family here, and I brought her on tour with me, trains, buses and no routine. She's very resilient and I worry that maybe we're raising Fred too soft."

Although host Angela Scanlon said she thinks Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker's relationship is “uncomfortable” to watch, Katherine believes “finding love in your forties” should be normalised.

She said: “I enjoy that Kourtney is in her forties and behaving like a teenager.

"All the while J-Lo and Ben Affleck are making out on yachts behaving like teenagers too. I think it's time we normalised finding love in your forties. I think it's beautiful!"

Listen to Thanks A Million with Angela Scanlon on Apple, Spotify and all podcast providers.


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