Katherine Ryan has claimed there is a “dangerous comedian” working in British show business during an appearance on Desert Island Discs.
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 show, the comedian said she had ‘struggled’ to decide whether to work with ‘someone who I believe to be a perpetrator of sexual assault’ or turn down a job .
Ryan did not specify who she was talking about on Desert Island Discs. This comes weeks after Russell Brand was at the center of rape and sexual assault allegations, which he denies.
The Canadian-born comic told host Lauren Laverne on a taped show before Brand’s allegations broke that even though she thought the person “is or was dangerous,” she was willing to appear on a show with him.
The 40-year-old revealed her “compromise” was to go on the show with the anonymous comic, but “let him know in no uncertain terms what I think of him”.
She added that she hadn’t noticed “much of a reaction” from the comedian in question, but that other comics who were familiar with the person’s reputation “really liked what I said.”
Ryan has been outspoken on the issue and allegedly challenged Brand, 48, while they co-hosted TV comedy show Roast Battle in 2018, making comments about him on camera that were later cut from the show .
Katherine Ryan has claimed there is a “dangerous comic” working in British show business during an appearance on Desert Island Discs. Pictured: Ryan on Loose Women on September 4
Ryan, pictured, reportedly previously clashed with Russell Brand while they co-hosted the comedy TV show Roast Battle in 2018. Pictured: Ryan (center) with Brand (left) and Jimmy Carr (right) in the show.
The episode, released today but recorded on September 6, saw Ryan recall his journey from the town of Sarnia in Ontario, Canada, to becoming a regular on the British comedy circuit.
On the show, host Laverne discussed an interview Ryan did with broadcaster Louis Theroux last year, in which she claimed she confronted a male comedian over allegations of predatory behavior.
When asked why she decided to speak out in the first place, Ryan said she received “a lot of pushback” for not naming the man at the time.
She said: “(I’ve received) a lot of ‘why don’t you say who it is?’. It’s because everyone knows who it is, what they want, what are the women’s names, and that’s what I won’t give and that’s all. why I’m reluctant.
Ryan added: “No one asks his name. It’s funny how people directly accuse “you’re the problem, you don’t name him”.
“We are not the problem. I had a choice: I could go to work with someone I believe to be a perpetrator of sexual assault or I could refuse the job. Those were my options.
“And so I struggled with that. I thought: what am I supposed to do then? The choice is this: Do I go to work with someone who I consider to be very problematic, and do I stand near them and laugh and smile and look like I’m enabling this kind of nobody to still be on television? Or do I stay at home?
She added that she thought this person “was or is dangerous,” but added that she thought nothing would change if she stayed away from the program.
“My compromise was that I was going to let him know in no uncertain terms what I thought of him,” she said.
“I’m not going to just allow this behavior, I’m not going to let him think I don’t know and everyone he works with is just going to let him get away with it.”
Ryan claimed she struggled to decide whether or not to appear on the show with the unnamed man. Pictured: The comic on All That Glitters in 2021
The Canadian-born comedian said she received support from other comedians after the confrontation. Pictured: Ryan at the WellChild Awards 2023 in London on September 7
“So that’s the attitude I took on the show. And did I do the right thing or the wrong thing? I still do not know. But I just thought why should I stay at home? He should stay home, but if he has to be there, I’ll be there to tell him what I think.
When asked how the man in question reacted, Ryan said there was no “obvious reaction” from him.
She revealed that other comics “really liked what I said” and that they found it “funny and brave”.
“I think that’s the nuance, did I mean it or was I joking? But those who know certainly know that I wasn’t joking.
Referencing the same confrontation, Ryan previously told Louis Theroux that she confronted the unnamed man while they were working on a TV show together in front of the audience “over and over again.”
Speaking in 2022, the 40-year-old said she had no qualms about doing so as she decided to handle it “like a man” – although the confrontation itself was later deleted from the ’emission.
In her conversation with Theroux, Ms Ryan claimed she received criticism afterward for not naming the person in question in public, but said just talking about him was a “contentious minefield” because he had “very good lawyers”.
The comedian added that it was “not my story to tell” but that she believed the accusations because the sources were “very credible.”
Earlier this month, it was reported that Ryan had repeatedly accused Russell Brand of being a “sexual predator” while filming his last major TV job.
Brand was a judge on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle in 2018, but was only included for one season after Ryan allegedly roasted him on camera over allegations that he sexually assaulted women – which he fervently denied.
The actor was the subject of complaints from several women accusing him of abusive and predatory behavior, including rape, sexual assault and psychological violence, between 2006 and 2013.
The Metropolitan Police also confirmed they are now investigating an alleged sexual assault in Soho in 2013 – three years before the four sexual assaults Brand was previously accused of.
The comedian “absolutely denies” the allegations and insists all of his relationships were consensual.
Roast Battle consists of comedians making jokes at each other’s expense. The first season included Brand, Ryan and Jimmy Carr. Jonathan Ross replaced Brand for the second season.
While filming the show – created by Fulwell 73 – Ryan allegedly made allegations against Brand. His comments were not released, according to Deadline.
Ryan’s confrontations reportedly exposed how comedians in the industry spoke openly about Brand’s sexual and predatory behavior.
Brand was reportedly “absolutely furious” after being targeted by Ryan on the show, a source told the newspaper.
Two other sources said he demanded that producers protect him from the serious allegations.
Industry insiders have now revealed that they thought it was best for Brand to step down as a judge on the show, and that “ultimately it came down to the fact that it looked like Russell wouldn’t “didn’t have a good sense of humor.”