When Ryan Swain was five-years-old his parents got a magician to perform at his birthday party. The magician, needing an assistant, chose Ryan to help – and a star was born:
“I apparently I took over his whole little show!” Ryan laughs, “he couldn’t get me off stage. It’s always been in me to entertain.”
I love the north. I feel like the north is neglected and it’s a shame… but it’s about time that certain people started emerging and putting it back on the map!
And entertain he has! Malton lad Ryan is a professional entertainer and has presented numerous live events, television shows and even had his own Saturday night radio slot on Minister FM. Now, he’s been crowned The Yorkshire Gig Guide’s Outstanding Individual – an award that Ryan is thrilled to have won:
“I’m a variety entertainer but this year I’ve done a lot of music festivals, food festivals and I’ve been recognised by the Yorkshire Gig Guide. I’m flabbergasted to be honest!”
Ryan started his career at local resort, Flamingo Land, working as a ‘coatstyle’ entertainer before eventually becoming lead presenter and entertainer in 2012. At the time, he’d been doing a lot of stand up and comedy but he admits ‘snatching’ the opportunity straight away and went on to present their ‘Party In The Park’.
“You couldn’t ask for a better gig! Right on the door step and doing what you love in your home town. I was at Flamingo Land for five years.”
Despite living just down the road, Ryan chose to stay in the ‘entertainers’ dorms’ and it was there that he met his fiancé Natalia and where his identical twin girls Ivy and Isla were conceived!
“She was a dancer, so we worked together, lived with each other and hit it off…then we conceived twins at Flamingo Land – The Flamingo Twins!” He laughs, “We really loved each other, and we didn’t have a TV, so you’ve got to entertain yourself somehow! That’s how the twins came about – it’s a blessing, we are very lucky.”
The twins are now three-years-old and Ryan dedicates as much time as possible to them and Natalia, however that hasn’t stopped his career spiralling to new heights. After leaving Flamingo Land, Ryan went to present the prime Saturday night slot on Yorkshire’s Minister FM. The show was a huge success and Ryan even had the opportunity to interview celebrities
such as Ronan Keating and Keith Lemon but it wasn’t all celebrities:
“I liked to give things back to the community so I’d try and get bands and singers you hadn’t heard of to have an interview and give them a shout out. It’s not all about the big names.”
while Ryan has had a stellar career it hasn’t been without its difficulties. Ryan was diagnosed with ADHD in his early 20s
Ryan who was born in Malton and still lives there with his family hasn’t been tempted by the bright lights of the city. In fact, he’s proud of his roots and finds himself drawn back to the town:
“The thing with Malton is it’s such a tiny place. It’s a beautiful, picturesque place but it’s like stepping back in time to the 1960s. I feel sorry for the younger generations – why should they travel further afield to experience something good when I could potentially bring that to them? Some people when they get to a certain stage forget their roots. I’m not about that. I’m about giving it back.
“I come from a working-class background. None of my family are involved with entertainment. I’ve just always enjoyed making people laugh and entertaining them – it doesn’t matter what I’m doing or how I’m doing it. I feel most comfortable on stage in front of a live audience – which most performers in this day and age don’t want – they’re more bothered about how they look or being part of a reality television programme but that doesn’t interest me at all.”
Ryan has fond memories of watching Saturday night TV with his Grandma and hopes to bring that variety performance back.
“I’m with the times but trying to inject some of the traditional entertainment back into the
Ryan is also hoping to put the north firmly ‘back on the map!’
“I love the north. I feel like the north is neglected and it’s a shame… but it’s about time that certain people started emerging and putting it back on the map!”
But while Ryan has had a stellar career it hasn’t been without its difficulties. Ryan was diagnosed with ADHD in his early 20s, but he recalls his parents always knowing:
“My mum and dad always knew– it made me charismatic and outgoing. They never saw that a problem so they didn’t think to get me diagnosed at a younger age.”
But what is it like to live as an adult with ADHD?
“It’s tough.” Ryan sighs, “I don’t take any medication and that’s my choice. For a long time in my life I was searching for a happy medium which might never have been there, but you look around and you just want to be like everyone else.
“With ADHD you’re either sky high on cloud nine or you’re six feet under. There’s never any balance. It affects people differently. I accept who I am and if other people can’t accept people for who they are that is their issue.
“I listen to everyday people. With ADHD, what people don’t see is that it has a darker side that people don’t see or hear. It can have a detrimental effect on careers, relationships and just everything in general so I devote a lot of time to mental health.”
In his spare time, Ryan spends a lot of time raising money and awareness for various charities. He even broke a world record skateboarding from Malton to Scarborough and back!
“I love doing really obscure fundraisers for charity that doesn’t just raise money but raises awareness. It’s not all about handing over thousands of pounds; the actual care and attention can be worth a lot more.”
With such a varied career, an award under his belt and the world at his feet, we can’t wait to see what Ryan does next! If you want to find out more about Ryan visit ryanswain.co.uk