Performer Ryan Swain: Entertaining Lockdown Journey

As the lockdown finally starts easing, and the government has coughed out some dosh to save the arts and live comedy, a lot of creatives are finding their way around the new creative landscape. One of them, Ryan Swain, hasn’t just started exploring the new normal but was working hard throughout the lockdown to entertain his fans and create new interactive experiences.

We caught up with Ryan – a DJ, TV host, and performer to discuss staying entertained during the lockdown, relationships, and the showbiz going forward.

DJ Ryan Swain

Ryan Swain

Ryan appeared on my Zoom screen from his re-decorated house in Yorkshire, accompanied by a massive mug of… Yorkshire tea. His hair stylishly dyed with a feline print – speak about standing out. Ryan admitted that before the lockdown he was busy touring with a band Boyz on the Block – a ‘super-group’ consisting of Dane Bowers – known for Another Level, – Abz Love – ex-band member of Five, – Shane Lynch – ex-member of Boyzone – and Ben Ofoedu – Phats & Small where Ryan was warming up the crowd and doing an after-party DJ set.

Ryan Swain's hair stylishly dyed with a feline print

Ryan’s hair stylishly dyed with a feline print

Luckily for the DJ, the tour will be re-run and once the lockdown is eased, the Boyz on the Block will revisit all previous tour spots and also get to those which were previously cancelled.

Entertaining online during the lockdown

Reflecting on the beginning of the lockdown, the ever-so-energetic performer and father-of-two, took on the role of homeschooling – when his identical twins came around to visit their daddy. “During the lockdown, I tried more hats than a professional actor,” admitted performer with a smile.

Apart from homeschooling, Ryan started his own version of Play Cards Right – live-streamed on Instagram. “it’s a very old-school play show that used to be hosted by Bruce Forsyth.” For his own version, Ryan mastered up a DIY board in less than a day and an overall budget of £30. “What I wanted to achieve with my game show is to get key workers to play, anyone who is bored at home. To entertain them at home or during a work break.” Having good connections helps – the show took off and has attracted some celebrity names too, such as Michael Barrymore for example. One has to admire Ryan’s dedication – the show ran daily for three weeks before the host was off for another adventure. “I noticed the show has peaked and the viewership started dropping a bit.”

I wonder if it was hard to accept the fact and move on. “I am not somebody who relies on just one thing to be successful. There are some people within the industry who will rely on one project for the rest of their lives. I am not like that. I like achieving new things, learning new things,” appeals the entertainer. “I would do something for a while and then I want to try something completely different.”

 

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Children’s entertainment – why not! Some people just don’t click well with children – yours truly included. Things are a bit different for anyone who is a parent. The father of two has tried his hand in virtual children’s entertainment too.

Father of two, Ryan tried his skills at homeschooling and children's entertainment during the lockdown. Photo courtesy of Ryan Swain

Father of two, Ryan tried his skills at homeschooling and children’s entertainment during the lockdown. Photo courtesy of Ryan Swain

Dating game during the lockdown

One can be excused for thinking Ryan’s had his hands full during the lockdown. But the story doesn’t end there. I asked the entertainer about how he’d met his new partner Crystal. Yes, during the lockdown. And the answer, as you might have guessed, was ‘online’. No, not the Hinge – the real YouTube dating show, to be precise. Ryan was approached to be an eligible bachelor on a new dating YouTube show from ‘Word on the Curb’ channel. The show was aptly titled Dating Indoors.

What started as a bit of online fun project turned into a virtual online date, into a real-life social distancing date and has blossomed into a real romance. Crystal hasn’t just moved in with Ryan since the show but they managed to re-decorate their house together. “sometimes irony can beat irony,” muses Ryan. “I found the love of my life through something I don’t believe in, which is reality TV.”

On a more personal matter, Coronavirus lockdown has changed us all in many ways than one. Ryan also admits it made him different. “It made me realise that we don’t need a lot of things that we have in life.” A message echoed by a lot of my interviewees. “What’s good of possessions if you can’t use them. And if something happens to you and you die, you can’t take those possessions with you.” He summarises his musing by adding that “your mental and physical wellbeing is more important than the things you are surrounded by.”

Life continues after COVID

Rock The Park: Ryan Swain is keen to join Scooter this summer

Rock The Park: Ryan Swain is keen to join Scooter on the festival this summer

Swain’s latest new endeavour – yet another game show goes under the working title of Ryan Swain’s hi-lo Bingo. Stay tuned for this one. Apart from the online fun, the DJ is lined up to be a warm-up at the Scooter gig this summer. More gigs lined up for the next year – anything that got cancelled this summer. Flick through the gallery to see what’s upcoming for Ryan and make sure to check out his Instagram for the latest.

 

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