Ryan Swain, originally from England’s north got his start at Flamingo Land Resort as a “coat-style” entertainer. He’s amassed a very respectable 200,000 followers across his social media profiles, as well as a commendable 10 million streams on his comedy videos, which focus on everyday life, parenting, and mental health.
2018 proved to be one of Ryan’s best years so far, with the entertainer performing over 100 live shows across the UK, as well as warming up for and supporting acts such as Ronan Keating, B*Witched, Peter Andre, Big Narstie, and Pixie Lott, among many many more. These aren’t the only strings to his bow however, and Ryan has also won 3 major national awards for his devotion to entertainment and his charity work.
Additionally Ryan is a talented DJ and MC, having discovered his talent for the decks at the age of 12, and he has supported the likes of The Venga Boys, Bugsy Malone, Paul Oakenfold, Skepta, Tinchy Strider, Tinie Tempah and many others.
2019 looks set to be even bigger for Ryan: he’s already booked confirmed appearances at shows all around the UK such as Rock The Park in Wrexham, Kubix Festival in Sunderland, Wannasee Festival in Penrith, and Shardfest in Birmingham. He’s also been asked to be an ambassador for York Fashion Week 2019.
Read a recent interview with Ryan:
You’re an entertainer?
That’s right, I am the real life PT Barnum! They actually call me the “Entertainments Entrepreneur”, but my forte is presenting, but I love performing stand-up comedy if I get the chance, and DJing to the masses. I also have some puppet friends called Bear Skills and Frank Lamingo who like to make an appearance when entertaining at family events.
Being a live presenter sounds pretty thrilling!
There’s no greater feeling then getting on stage and performing for a live audience! I like the unpredictability of live events and getting up on stage in front of an audience not knowing what’s going to come next. I actually get a kick out of improvising if something goes wrong and get enjoyment watching the audiences reactions when you turn it round.
You raise a lot of money and awareness for various charities what inspires you to do it?
I was born with a major heart condition, basically a valve that should’ve closed when I was born, but stayed open until I was 4, as it was discovered late by a local GP. My parents, Paul & Deborah Swain, were told that I had to have a major operation straight away at Killingbeck Hospital in Leeds, which was a cardiology specialist, and they were given the heart-wrenching choice for me to have open heart surgery, or trial the new technology at the time, which was called keyhole surgery. They decided to go for the second option, and the operation was successful! I survived, and was given a second chance at life! So, as there are no words that can describe how grateful I am, I use charity and giving something back to the less fortunate people out there as my way of doing it.
I also think now that I’ve made a name for myself and am in the public eye – some people in the industry get caught up in celebrity culture and become really selfish – to use your name to help others is a great thing to do, it can change a lot of lives, and for me to do that is an absolute no-brainer!
Which charities have you raised money for?
I started fundraising at 7 when I baked biscuits with my Mum and took them to school to sell for the RSPCA. From there I went on to volunteer at my local youth club, then to helping the homeless. In 2012 I broke a record and raised thousands of pounds for Brain Tumor Research by skateboarding 56 miles from Malton to Scarborough and back in less that 4 hours. I have done the “Full Monty” in 2013, where I bared all for charity, and we raised £2,000 for children with cancer.
Since 2013 I have supported and donated to other charities, such as the ADHD Foundation, MIND Mental Health, SANDS (Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Society), Ryedale Dog Rescue, Cats Protection, Children In Need, Comic Relief, Balls To Cancer, and so many more, and continue to do so. Sometimes it’s not always about handing over money, it’s about making time for the people you are supporting and donating your time to support and listen to them.
You haven’t always had it easy, you have battled mental health and bullying in school?
That’s correct, I went to Norton College Secondary School in North Yorkshire, and was always a bit of class clown but I never did anything in malice, I was just misunderstood. The education system missed that I had ADHD, and I was treated like a naughty boy instead of actually been understood and assessed properly. Eventually they decided school wasn’t working for me and at 15 they put me on a REOTAS programme, which stands for Re-Education Other Than At School, which turned out to be the best thing ever as I managed to catch up on 4 years coursework and achieve all my GCSEs, all Cs and above in such a short period of time. I also found my vocation, Performing Arts, and got onto a BTEC Course after leaving the programme. In later years I found it hard to find a happy medium in my life so after a long period of waiting on the NHS I finally got assessed aged 21. I trialled medication for a while, but it nearly killed me due to a violent allergic reaction, so I stopped all together and now I just deal with it, and control and handle it naturally. Funnily enough, as I was getting diagnosed, they also diagnosed my Dad who came to support me, and told him it is an hereditary condition. I was bullied mildy at primary school and secondary school too, mainly with people telling me I was rubbish and wouldn’t go anywhere in life, and when I tried to think outside the box they would try to shoot me down. A lot of it boils down to jealousy, but who’s having the last laugh now!
You also have identical twins and a family and work a day-job! How do you manage to do so much?
I am a life-squeezer, I love my family time. My daughters Ivy-Kay and Isla-Yasmin mean everything to me as does my fiancee Natalia. I met her whilst working in Entertainment at Flamingo Land Resort theme park in North Yorkshire in 2013 we hit it off straight away. Natalia is a professional dancer and has been very lucky to work and dance all over the world on cruise ships. Family always comes first and I will always have time and make time to be there for them.
What is like to live with Adult ADHD?
Believe it or not, I don’t feel that it hinders me in any way. I’m actually thankful that I have it. My enthusiasm and energy comes very naturally – I don’t have to strive for that. I came up with a saying about ADHD that went viral – “We have the brains of a Ferrari, but the brakes of a Ford Escort”. In other words, our minds are always stimulated and relentless, and it’s very hard to slow that down. I am very lucky and fortunate to have such a loving and supporting family and set of friends and fans who all respect and accept my condition.
You’ve had a very successful year so far and won awards?
Yes! Last year I won the Yorkshire Gig Guide’s, “Outstanding Individual Award”, and was a finalist for the Yorkshire Media Personality Award in the Yorkshire Choice Awards. I ended up coming second to Gaynor Barnes from ITV. I was also a finalist in the O2 Media Awards 2018. I won The People’s Choice Award 2018 at the ICC in Birmingham, which was presented to me by ITV’s The Chase Shaun Wallace.
You’re a comedian, tell us your best joke?
“I would hate to work in a Job Centre, imagine if you got the sack…You would still have to show up the next day!”
What is the next step for your career?
Keep smashing the live gigs nationwide, performing as much as I can and I would love to have my own prime time talk show on TV eventually. I would like to maybe go on Britain’s Got Talent too which could be the perfect platform for me and the next step up the ladder.