SO WHO IS KATHERINE LYNCH?
Let’s start with a few facts about Katherine Lynch: 5 smash hit RTE comedy series in row, a number one Christmas DVD and a string of sell out shows, not bad at all for a wee girl from Mohill, County Leitrim.
From an early age, Katherine, a grand-niece of Patrick Kavanagh, loved the arts, having appeared alongside her three siblings in many a local production, play or sketch for Scor Na nOg, more often than not penned by her late father Tom Lynch, himself a great writer and whit. Even though she had been surrounded by poetry, writing and acting all through her younger years, Katherine didn’t initially set out to be an actress or comedian, rather opting to train as a hairdresser in style capital of the West…Longford!
But the novelty of living in a bed sit and smelling of peroxide soon wore off and Miss Lynch soon hung up her hairspray and crimping tongs, bid fair well to Longford and took the bus to Dublin. An eclectic mix of jobs followed including managing an antiques shop, working as a reflexologist, running a market stall and working as a waitress but Katherine finally set her heart on becoming an actress and enrolled in The Bull Alley Theatre Training Company.
Then in 2007 Katherine made the leap to TV when she was spotted as a talking head in the guise of Singing Bernie Walsh on RTE’s late night comedy “The Unbelievable Truth”. On the back of this Katherine was commissioned to make her very own comedy pilot, “Hiace to Heaven”, the hit mocumentary series which chartered the tumultuous travels of full time Gypsy & part time “Country ‘n Irish” Carpet-Crooner Singing BERNIE WALSH. With little or no promotion the show was an instant hit with viewers attracting a staggering 320,000 viewers at 10.50 on RTE 2 on a Monday night. Two more shows followed, each pulling in more viewers than the last. On the back of this success RTE commissioned Katherine’s first six-parter, “WonderWomen”, a series which would reprise the characters or Bernie Walsh and Sheila Chic from Katherine’s first outing, but would also introduce LIZ HURLEY, the crew cut, dim witted, sexually befuddled “stay-at-home-daughter” from Mohill, County Leitrim. ?Liz and the series went on to be a big hit with viewers with an average audience of 23% share. Becoming the highest rating RTE 2 home grown comedy of the year. A hit Christmas special was the icing on the cake for what was an amazing year for Katherine.
Then in 2009 Work began writing & producing a new series, this time entitled Katherine Lynch’s “Single Ladies”. Broadcast in November of that year, episode one pulled in another eye-watering audience share, with 31% share tuning in to watch episode 1, a staggering figure for 10.50pm on RTE 2.
In 2010 Katherine put TV on hold, embarking on a sell nationwide tour, playing 14 nights in Dublin’s Vicar Street alone and playing to over 25,000 people in total.
Then in 2011 she returned to television but this time in the form of a comedy studio entitled “Wagons Den”, a tongue in cheek showbiz review presented by one of Katherine’s most popular characters, Sheila Sheikh and Big Brother Super-Host, Mr. Brian Dowling. The show was an instant hit with an average audience share of 21%.
The idea for Wagons Den came about as I was looking for a format that would fill the gap in the market for a late night female skewed entertainment chat show or “Loose Woman with Bite” as the pitch put it. Mrs. Merton meets E-News, the series has run for two hugely successful series with a raft of Irish and international guests feeling the wrath of Sheila Sheikhs caustic tongue and of course the
wonderful Brian Dowling playing good cop, well most of the time! A second 10 part series was commissioned in 2011, rounding off the year with a one year Christmas Special, going head to head with the ratings juggernaut “Downtown Abbey” in the schedule and pulling in a higher audience share.
Populated by a host of Katherine’s larger than life creations, sometimes naughty and often spontaneous, Katherine’s TV and live shows intertwine the fantastical lives of Katherine’s menagerie of slightly weird yet strangely lovable characters. Lynch’s left of field attitude and playful disregard for political correctness has so far done her proud. Her shows have focused on those elements of society that are often marginalized and in turn unrepresented in comedy. It’s Katherine’s philosophy that comedy should always be inclusive; to exclude any one section of our culture from the joke is in itself discrimination. From the word go all Katherine Lynch strived for in her career was to make people laugh and she has undoubtedly achieved her goal. Having broken though in a primarily male dominated world of Irish comedy, Katherine has managed to strike a chord with Irish audiences from day one, establishing a loyal fan-base and a very successful career. It’s been a fantastic 5 years, here’s to the next 5!