'I don’t even want to think about how much income I lost doing this' | Katherine Ryan on her new show with Joe Wilkinson © C4

'I don’t even want to think about how much income I lost doing this'

Katherine Ryan on her new show with Joe Wilkinson

Joe & Katherine’s Bargain Holidays kicks off next week with comedians Joe Wilkinson and Katherine Ryan seeking out the most cost-effective breaks. While that’s instinctive to Wilkinson, here Ryan talks about being ‘ashamed’ of her luxury tastes, how she’s always working, and the moment that almost reduced her to tears…

Tell us about the series…

It’s an ambitious move by my good friend and bargain seeker, Joe Wilkinson, to show me how to travel on a shoestring budget… But he takes the piss.

Why did you agree when you prefer a bit of luxury?

Because I’m ashamed of my luxury taste and I need to learn how to budget if I’m going to holiday with all my kids.

How long have you been friends with Joe?

Joe was one of the first people I met and instantly loved when I came to the British comedy scene about 15 years ago. Once, on a Taskmaster challenge, we needed to communicate from across a field and I asked Joe to shout me his phone number. He immediately texted it to me instead.

I agreed to do a charity comedy gig with Joe and forgot, so assumed it was fraud when it was later advertised. 

Joe and I are friends without remembering we are friends.

Did you trust Joe in leading you on these trips?


What were the most memorable moments for you?

I hate being hot and I hate travel delays. I was livid when Joe made us fly on a budget airline which was 12 hours late on the sweltering tarmac. A passenger soiled himself and everyone else rushed to the front of the plane to get away from the smell. 

When it was all over, I was in Bulgaria which made me furious. I almost cried.

Tell us about your time at the airport in Northern Ireland? Didn’t you have time for some shopping?

I bought a bunch of copies of my own book, The Audacity, and set up a book signing station in the airport. 

I’m never off the clock. I’m always working so that I don’t have to penny pinch like Joe…and it shows. 

Sometimes, Joe’s idea of saving money would take hours. That’s time that he could have been earning money working. I don’t even want to think about how much income I lost seeking out bargains with Joe.

There are moments in the series where we see you enjoying you inflicting a bit of terror on Joe – such as the water sports in Bulgaria. How much fun was that?

Joe pushed me out of my comfort zone and I was only too pleased to return the favour.

Were you surprised to learn there are ways to have fun days out and trips away at a low cost?

Extreme bargains aside, Joe was able to show me some incredible practical bargains that I’d love to indulge in. Why throw money away?

Would you recreate any of these trips or holidays with your own family or friends?

Latvia was the hidden gem for me. I really enjoyed the UK holidays because there’s so much to see and do right here at home, it’s great to explore on a bargain and without flying. But Latvia was hands down my favourite and the airport experience was smooth and second to none. 

I loved the weather, the people, the food, the spas, the shopping and the bargains. I can’t wait to be back!

Would you accept another invitation to go on more bargain holidays with Joe in the future?


• Joe and Katherine’s Bargain Holidays starts on Channel 4 on Thursday April 25

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Published: 16 Apr 2024

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