Amazon Prime Video is launching UK Original comedy series Backstage with Katherine Ryan, which will be available exclusively on Prime Video in over 240 countries and territories in 2022.
This series, produced by Expectation, will introduce an all-new live comedy experience, blending world-class stand-up with behind-the-scenes access, in which Katherine Ryan will invite both the biggest and the most exciting new names from the world of comedy to perform on-stage and hang out backstage at London’s iconic Roundhouse. The star-studded line-up includes: Frankie Boyle, Sara Pascoe, Judi Love, Ivo Graham, Jo Brand, Nish Kumar, Joel Dommett, Rosie Jones, Rob Beckett, Sue Perkins, Tom Allen, Michelle de Swarte, Jimmy Carr, Desiree Burch, Seann Walsh, Nick Mohammed, Sarah Millican, Joanne McNally, Russell Kane, Geoff Norcott, and Darren Harriott.
Based on the comedy industry truism that some of the funniest material of the night is never seen because it happens behind the scenes, Backstage with Katherine Ryan will reveal what comedians get up to before, during, and after the show. While the camera usually stops at the curtain, this series stays with the comedians throughout the show, joining the inner-sanctum of comedy as they hang out backstage. This is where they let their guard down, the pressure of the live audience is off, and the real business of comedy begins. We will see their pre- and post-performance rituals, observe the chemistry between the comics, hear them critique eachothers’ material, trade anecdotes, and enjoy the afterparty.
“After having nearly two years of cancelled gigs, comics are as eager to get backstage as they are to get on stage again. That’s why I’m absolutely thrilled to be working alongside Amazon Prime Video and the brilliant team at Expectation to launch Backstage with Katherine Ryan,” said Katherine Ryan. “We’ll be taking you with us behind the curtain and into our sacred space so you can share in the candid hilarity that happens before and after a gig. It’s a whole new way to experience the magic of stand-up.”
“Thanks to the wonderful people at Amazon we’ve got the best stand-ups performing in a beautiful venue to a comedy-starved audience, hosted by the Queen of the Comedy Stage, Katherine Ryan,” said Expectation’s Creative Director, Entertainment and Executive Producer Ben Wicks. “That’s not all though, in a major blow to FOMO, we also have 40 cameras behind the backstage door. We’ll see the funniest comics on earth as you’ve never seen them before: wildly indiscreet and completely unfiltered. Just spare a thought for the editor.”
“It’s often said that the funniest material of the night takes place backstage, and this series is about peeking behind-the-scenes, giving the audience a backstage pass to comedy’s inner-sanctum,” said Dan Grabiner, Head of UK Originals, Amazon Studios. “In Katherine we have the perfect host, and we’re delighted to be featuring some of the very best in the business across the series.”
The executive producer for Expectation is BAFTA-winning Ben Wicks (The Last Leg, The Big Narstie Show), executive producer for Amazon is Suzi Aplin (TFI Friday, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross), Martyn Smith (Dragons’ Den, The Apprentice) is executive story producer, and Mia Cross (Live at the Apollo, The Ranganation) is series producer.
Acknowledging the impact Covid-19 has had on comedians and professionals working in the industry since the start of the pandemic, Prime Video has also made a donation to the Live Comedy Association and NextUp Comedy’s #SaveLiveComedy Fund, which was established with the founding support of Panadol, to provide hardship grants to those within the live comedy industry who suffered a loss of income due to the pandemic.