Interview: Entertainer Ryan Swain on his rise to fame and love for Yorkshire
Malton-born Ryan Swain is a presenter, DJ and comedian
You’re a Yorkshireman born and bred.
I was born in Malton, and even though I perform nationwide and sometimes internationally, I’m still very passionate about being from Yorkshire. It’s great to live in such a picturesque place.
There’s loads of exciting stuff to do in the area.
My favourite hobby is country walks. I’d also say that Malton is the food capital of the North, with all its nice eateries and pubs. I take my twin daughters to Groovy Moos ice cream parlour quite a lot, and my wife Natalia and I like No.46 Café:Bar. When the whole family’s together, there’s nothing better than taking a trip to Dalby Forest.
You’re an entertainer.
It all dates back to my fifth birthday party – there was a magician and he wanted a volunteer, so obviously I put myself forward as the birthday boy. Poor guy – I felt comfortable up on stage straight away and ended up taking over the whole show. Obviously, I’ve come a long way since then.
You’ve got a huge social media presence – 200,000 followers across all your channels is a massive achievement.
I get recognised quite a lot in my hometown but no matter how big I make it, I’d never ever deny anyone a photo or a bit of time for a meet and greet. If I didn’t have such an amazing network of family, friends and fans, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love. Sometimes it’s daunting when there’s a massive audience in front of me, but it’s worthwhile when I look closer and see the smiles on people’s faces.
Being a live presenter sounds pretty thrilling.
I like the unpredictability of live events and not knowing what’s going to come next. I actually get a kick out of improvising if something goes wrong. I’ve done so many events in Yorkshire – the best event I’ve done this year was with Paul Gascoigne – I interviewed him in front of a live audience. He’s a Northerner too so we naturally hit it off. I’ve also got one coming up with Usain Bolt in January.
Do you ever get star-struck?
When I interviewed Ronan Keating on Minster FM – he was cool, and meeting Keith Lemon was another highlight. Being from Yorkshire, he has the same banter as me. I’ve been described as a youthful, dark-haired Keith Lemon before – it’s probably the accent. I’ve been lucky to do interviews with so many famous faces – I was given VIP tickets for Craig David and Big Narstie’s show at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, and they invited me into their tour bus for a chat.
I can imagine you have a long list of potential interviewees.
Liam Gallagher and Jim Carrey are at the top. They say you should never meet your heroes, but I reckon those would both be totally off-the-wall interviews. I’ve idolised Jim since I was a child, so much so that I’ve shaped my presenting persona around him, with my own twists. And if you cast aside Liam’s slight arrogance, he’s a brilliant showman and I love his music.
Your positive approach towards having ADHD is so inspiring.
Believe it or not, I don’t feel like 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 breaks of a Ford Escort’. In other words, our minds are always stimulated and relentless, and it’s very hard to slow that down.
You’ve also received a nod of recognition from the Pride of Malton and Norton Awards this year.
I’m really humbled to have been nominated for a local hero award for supporting my community. I’ve got a lot of charity fundraising under my belt – in 2013 I skateboarded from Malton to Scarborough in just five hours, breaking a world record and raising money for Louby’s Lifeline, which funds brain tumour research. I’m also committed to promoting mental health awareness, it’s a big part of my life.
You can find out more about Ryan on his website, along with details of upcoming performances and charity work.