Katherine Ryan quit Mock the Week to stop taking spots from female comedians

Catherine Earp
Photo credit: Angst Productions/Ken McKay - BBC

From Digital Spy

Katherine Ryan has explained her reason for no longer appearing on Mock the Week.

The comedian spoke about her time on the show on her podcast, Telling Everybody Everything, and said she didn't want to be the "pedestal feminism".

"I love Mock the Week," she said. "I love Dara [Ó Briain], I think that that show has given a platform for so many British comedians.

Photo credit: Netflix

"But I had to stop doing it because I knew that every time I was booked on that show I was taking food out of the mouth of another woman.

"I was never taking James Acaster's spot, I was never taking Ed Gamble's spot on that show, I was always 100% of the time taking a job away from one of my female peers."

Katherine, who appeared on the show between 2012 and 2015, added: "I thought, 'OK, I've had my time on this show, and now I have to give it to someone else.'

"As much as I loved to do it – it really helped me open up a fresh audience, I loved to go on there and play with all the other comics.

Photo credit: Angst Productions/Ken McKay - BBC

"But I couldn't do it anymore because of that fact alone – 'No, Mock the Week doesn't have a problem with women, look, Katherine Ryan's on the show.' Nuh uh. And now look, they will let two of us on in the same week!"

Since the show started in 2005, it has featured numerous female comedians, including Jo Brand and Sarah Millican, although it wasn't until 2017 when two women were featured on the six-person panel at the same time.

Katherine added: "I wasn't allowed to do the stand-up round, apart from once. And they always made me sit in the same chair.

"Do you remember, we'd always be on the right, in the middle, in case what? One of us menstruated? It had some like, leak protection?"

Photo credit: Pete Dadds - BBC

Katherine also added her frustrations about so much media having a 'one woman on the bill' mentality, saying: "I have emails from promoters that say, 'No Katherine. We can't have so-and-so on that night, the bill would be too female-heavy.'

"Imagine objecting to a bill that was too male-heavy? These are just the general micro-aggressions that we have to deal with every day.

"Yes, I'm on TV a lot as a guest. And I've been told to wear my hair down because I look less severe. I've had my wardrobe combed through by people with zero fashion editorial experience to make sure they like what I'm wearing.

"Do you know most of the men just have to bring in something clean? And half the time they can't even manage that. I've been in rooms where we're choosing other contributors for shows.

"And the producers have said, 'No, she can't do it, she's too old for our audience'. But we'll hire a male comedian who's older than she is."

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