Katherine Ryan’s new star-studded series promises to expose the offstage antics of comics including Jimmy Carr, Rosie Jones and Seann Walsh.
The Canadian comedian’s new series, Backstage With Katherine Ryan, is set to offer a rare unscripted and uncensored insight into some of the nation’s favourite comedians.
Ryan said filming the series was “a bit daunting” because she hadn’t been on stage for a while following the pandemic and her son had been born just six weeks previously.
She said: “That’s on my personal scale of daunting, which is almost non-existent, because I just don’t have any anxiety and my mental health is rock solid.
“I’m very lucky, and I hope it stays that way. I’m incapable of fretting. I see other comedians doing jumping jacks and really nervous … I’m not capable of that anymore, I don’t know why.”
The six-episode series will feature the cream of the comedy crop, including Russell Kane, Rob Beckett, Tom Allen and Sarah Millican, performing at London’s Roundhouse and hanging out backstage.
Frankie Boyle, Sara Pascoe and Jo Brand will also feature alongside Joel Dommett, Nish Kumar, Judi Love and Sue Perkins in the series which will reveal the nerves, gossip, preparation, excitement, camaraderie and clashes behind the scenes.
Speaking about her guest stars, Ryan said: “I had chats with everyone before they went on and I just said, ‘No one’s trying to catch you out, no one wants to show you in a bad light’.
“I think because I was involved they trusted that it’s not a trick, it’s not a hidden camera stitch-up show. But also, there aren’t any wrong ‘uns on the show.
“I think that if you had cancellable personality traits you probably wouldn’t have agreed to come on and everyone forgot the cameras were there after only a few minutes.
“It’s amazing how it just blends into the background.”
Ryan said a lot of the comedians were “used” to showing more of their personal lives and authentic selves “because of podcasts and because of social media”.
She added: “It’s not like the old generation of comedians where you had a very constructed persona and that’s all that you would share.
“We’re very interested in what’s behind the scenes and people are more relaxed about showing that.”
Speaking about the backstage atmosphere for stand-up comics, Ryan said “some (people) are more spiky than others” but added she had never experienced any “backstabbing or cattiness”.
“I think the younger generation, especially the female comedians, are a very close community. We’re all on a group chat. We’re very supportive of one another.
“But I think comedy has a way of weeding out the people that are unkind,” she said.
All six episodes of Backstage With Katherine Ryan will air on June 9 on Prime Video.