Katherine Ryan shocks audience with Cheryl malaria gag: ‘She won’t die’

They say that laughter is the best medicine…

Katherine Ryan has come under fire after joking about Cheryl Cole’s near-fatal battle with malaria in 2010.

Showing that there was no such thing as a topic too sensitive to joke about, the Canadian stand up took a swipe at our Chez as she appeared on The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan, in an episode which airs on Friday at 10pm.

“The nation’s sweetheart,’ Katherine is reported as saying by The Sun.

‘She’s so tiny though. If she was born in the winter, she wouldn’t have made it. Tiny!’

‘And you just can’t knock her down,’ the Canadian comedian continued. 

‘Even God tried. Malaria! She won’t die. She’s a very strong woman.’


Funny lady Katherine has two Netflix specials (Picture: Rex)

Appearing alongside Scarlett Moffatt, Harry Redknapp, Tom Davis and Emeli Sande, the 36-year-old took further aim at The Greatest Dancer coach

‘She’s done more damage to the North East than Margaret Thatcher,’ Katherine joked.

While for many fans of Cheryl, the singer’s near-death experience after being infected by a mosquito in Tanzania was no laughing matter.

But some commenters were quick to point out that Katherine’s jokes may have been shocking for the audience, but they were nothing new, as the comedian had previously made similar comments when she appeared on Live at the Apollo in 2015.

Cheryl contracted malaria while abroad (Picture: Instagram)

As part of the BBC stand up show’s 11th series, Katherine described the Geordie singer as being ‘so beautiful it makes you forget she’s garbage,’ doubling down on her comments when recognising some discomfort among the audience.

‘Don’t feel bad,’ she said, ‘some of you feel bad. Cheryl Cole would glass each of you in an alley tonight.’


Cheryl’s 2010 battle with the mosquito-born illness shocked the nation, especially as the star had climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with Comic Relief just the year before in order to raise money to buy mosquito nets.

‘It was the scariest thing you could ever imagine for me and for my friends and family,’ she recalled in a video for Sport Relief in 2014.

‘I was lucky; I had the best care I could get. Some people are not so lucky.

‘The pain I felt and went through, it’s what so many people go through, all because they don’t have a mosquito net which could save their life,’ she added.

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