Katherine Ryan says The Masked Singer was a fun lie to tell her children

The 39-year-old comedian and actress, who was pregnant while appearing on the celebrity singing show, was revealed as Pigeon on Saturday.
The 39-year-old comedian and actress, who was pregnant while appearing on the celebrity singing show, was revealed as Pigeon on Saturday.

Katherine Ryan said The Masked Singer was an example of a “good and fun lie” to tell her children after she kept her involvement a secret from her family.

The 39-year-old comedian and actress, who was pregnant while doing the ITV celebrity singing competition, was unmasked as the character Pigeon on Saturday.

In a round-table with journalists including PA news agency, Ryan said: “My teenager (Violet) thought it was ridiculous that I lied to her and that I got away with lying to her because she guessed it week one.”

She told Violet, who believed it was Ryan due to the song choices which over the weeks included No Scrubs by TLC and Yeah by Usher, that Pigeon could not be her as she was pregnant when the series was filmed.

Ryan added: “I said, ‘No, it’s not me and I don’t lie’. So she really took me at my word. I think it’s a good example of a fun lie because there are very few surprises in life … she was really excited. First livid, then excited.”

In a reaction video on Instagram that Ryan posted, Violet can be seen with her hands on her head walking around the room and saying she “knew it” and “why would you lie?” to her mother.

TV Choice Awards- London
Comedian Katherine Ryan and Bobby Kootstra, her partner, pictured together in November (Yui Mok/PA)

When asked if it could create issues with parenting, Ryan said: “Absolutely not. There’s a distinctive difference between what is a lie and what is a surprise and I think that I’ve been truthful throughout so much of our relationship, some might say too truthful, (so) I earned one white lie.”

Ryan also has two children with her childhood sweetheart and partner Bobby Kootstra. A son was born in 2021 and she gave birth to another daughter in December.

She has also starred in the semi-autobiographical comedy series The Duchess on Netflix which is about a Canadian mother parenting her child growing up in the UK and most recently in Sky Comedy show Romantic Getaway, about a couple turning to crime to fund IVF, alongside comedian Romesh Ranganathan.

Throughout the competition, Canadian Ryan adopted an English accent in an attempt to deceive the judges further.

She added: “I often mimic celebrities that I like or things that I hear on TV, and I’m an avid Gemma Collins fan and reality television enthusiast so as soon as I moved to this country, I think I started practising the Essex accent.

“I would just always play like I was on ITV and then when I became someone who got the opportunity to be on The Masked Singer I said, ‘Well, that’s on ITV so I’m gonna put on my Essex accent’. It’s been my dream.”

Ryan also said musical theatre is her “first love” as she previously acted in small productions of Annie, Jesus Christ Superstar and The King And I when she lived in Canada.

However, she said due to the weight of her costume and the dancing she was doing on stage, her singing was criticised during the competition.

She added: “I think it became obvious to me early on that I wasn’t going to win the singing competition so I should lean into the guessing game. So I just tried to be a really tough guess.”

On Saturday The Masked Singer saw a peak of more than five million viewers watching ITV1, based on overnight figures.

An average of 4.5 million viewers tuned into Ryan’s unmasking, according to ITV.

The Masked Singer returns for a double unmasking of celebrities at 7pm on Saturday to ITV1 and ITVX.