Eastern promise

Comic gets a boost from Real EastEnders doc

John Ryan says he could easily have ended up a criminal rather than a comic.

The up-and-coming stand-up grew up in London's East End, attending a rough school that was eventually closed down because of its dire academic records.

"A lot of my friends were getting into serious trouble, ending up in prison," says Ryan. "I just didn't want to go down that route, so I looked for an alternative."

Hackney-born Ryan's roots are explored in the Carlton TV show The Real EastEnders at 7.30pm next Tuesday (September 25), as camera crews follow him round his home turf, browsing in markets and working at a playgroup, before a gig at the imposing Jongleurs venue.

He said: "Say Eastender and people think of a white Cockney male selling fruit and veg shouting 'Gor blimey guv'. Where I came from had people from the four corners of the earth."

And he believes this mulitcultural environment has helped shape his act.

"I perform inclusive comedy," he said. "I don't just pick on people. My comedy is about having fun, not making people feel inadequate or insecure."

Published: 17 Sep 2001

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