Mock The Week panelist and comedian Katherine Ryan has spoken out about why she decided to quit the BBC2 show, hosted by Dara Ó Briain.
She had a recurring seat on the panel of the satirical topical comedy programme between 2012 and 2015, and spoke about her time on her podcast, Telling Everybody Everything.
The show is known for never having as many female guests as male (there was usually just one a week and now there are two), and so given there were limited slots for women on the show, Katherine felt guilty for taking one.
“I love Mock the Week ,” she said. “I love Dara, I think that that show has given a platform for so many British comedians.
“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.
“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.
“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!'”
She went on to say that she did not have the same privileges and coverage as the male stars of the show, adding: “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?”
She went on to say that she still misses out on gigs now because the producers think it will be too “female heavy” and she has even been asked to wear her hair down so she looks “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,” she said.
“Do you know most of the men just have to bring in something clean? And half the time they can’t even manage that.”
MirrorOnline has reached out to a rep for Mock The Week for comment.