Canadian comedian Katherine Ryan has become a regular feature on British comedy television, appearing frequently on Mock the Week, QI and Have I Got News For You.
Now, she discovers her family origins on next week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, broadcast at 9pm on Monday 19 August on BBC One.
Here’s five things you might not know about the star…
1. University graduate
Although she has made a career in comedy, Ryan has a serious academic background. She graduated in City Planning from the prestigious University of Toronto, an institution which jousts in the league tables with the likes of America’s Harvard and Yale.
2. Irish and British connections
Ryan’s Irish father worked as draughtsman. He emigrated to Canada and met Ryan’s mother, an IT consultant and businesswoman. Ryan has also described British comedy as “the most clever in the world” which perhaps explains her enduring popularity across the country.
3. Cancer survivor
At only 36, Ryan has undergone treatment for skin cancer on two occasions. In the face of this adversity, Ryan remained optimistic, saying: “cancer unites us because it affects us all”. She is presently well and lives with her daughter Violet in London.
4. Cosmetic surgery
Throughout her career, Ryan has made her various cosmetic surgery procedures a running topic of her routine. Ryan says that if everyone was open about cosmetic surgery “there would be a lot less fuss”.
5. Netflix success
Starting her career in Britain with open mic nights, Ryan’s popularity and profile grew extraordinarily and she has now become a staple of British comedy television. In addition to her many panel show appearances, Ryan has both featured in and headlined Live at the Apollo and her live show Glitter Room is now being shown on Netflix.