Katherine Ryan has lifted the lid on the difficulties of being a woman – and pregnant – that still remain in her industry, as she said a show that she worked on was denied insurance for pregnant women.
The comedian, who recently revealed that she had accused a colleague of being a sexual predator to their face while working on a popular television show, was discussing the backstage chat between female comics with Lorraine Kelly.
Her new TV series, Backstage with Katherine Ryan, puts cameras in the backstage areas during a live comedy show, offering a peek at what performers talk about between their sets.
However, when Lorraine asked if she felt the behaviour of male comics was still an issue today, Katherine revealed that her female colleagues were in a ‘constant state of vigilance and assessment’ over their safety and who they worked with.
She then recalled an issue a production she’d worked on had with getting insurance, claiming it was because of pregnant women.
‘Backstage with Katherine Ryan is meant to give viewers insight into what we really discuss,’ she told Lorraine. ‘I wasn’t trying to name anyone or out anyone – it’s just that female comics, women in my industry, have those discussions.’
‘It’s a constant state of vigilance and assessment,’ she added. ‘Is this job safe for me to do? Should I take that job knowing that I would be working with someone who I have heard from my peers is very dangerous? Should I conceal my pregnancy on this job because I know that the production can’t be insured if I reveal that I’m pregnant?’
She continued: ‘I was working on a production recently where the female producers were trying to get insurance and the insurance company said, “No we won’t insure pregnant women, go to your MP.”’
Referring to the ongoing Partygate scandal, Katherine joked: ‘Oh, I’d love to [but] they’re currently having a lockdown party while I watch my grandma’s funeral on zoom.’
‘What are we supposed to do?’ she added.
Katherine welcomed her baby son Fred with husband Bobby Kootstra last June, just two weeks after announcing publicly that she was pregnant.
The star then promptly returned to work, a matter of days after his birth, which stunned Lorraine.
‘Yeah, I went back to work when my son Fred was eight days old because I love work and I was very blessed to do that, and my husband was so helpful,’ she shared.
Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV. Backstage with Katherine Ryan is available to stream on Prime Video.