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The story of Katherine Ryan’s laugh: The Audacity | Books | Entertainment


She knows her confidence irritates “pearl clutchers” but couldn’t care less. It’s always refreshing to read about a woman dancing to the beat of her own drum and Ryan’s steely determination shines through.

But there’s also a warm heart beating beneath the ice queen exterior.

Her memoir opens with amusing stories of growing up in 1980s small-town Canada where drama formed a big part of her young life.

Ryan was at university in Toronto when she discovered Sarah Silverman’s stand-up and was inspired to give an open-mic slot a shot.

She was bitten by the bug: “Nothing else had made me feel so sh** and so alive all at once.”

Then, in 2007, she followed a boyfriend to London.

She was working in a dreary office job, she had been diagnosed with autoimmune disease lupus, and her relationship was falling apart.

But she entered some new-act competitions, landed an agent, and kept gigging, making time to perform even after she had become a single parent.

The turning point came when she appeared on Jimmy Carr’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats in 2012.

From there, she became a panel show regular, also going on to record six series of dating game show Your Face Or Mine.

She recalls some toxic relationships. One ex made a spiteful, baseless report to social services who investigated whether Ryan posed a threat to her daughter.

After unexpectedly getting back together with high school boyfriend Bobby in 2019, she also shares the painful story of the miscarriage that preceded the birth of her new baby.

Ryan is a formidable woman and the fact that she doesn’t care if you like her or not makes her a frank and uncompromising writer.

You can’t help but admire her audacity.

● The Audacity, Katherine Ryan Blink, £20



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