Comedian, columnist, and political activist
"I think if you don't believe in evolution they should give you last year's flu jab."
"Faith, by definition, is believing in things without evidence and personally I don't do that, 'cos I'm not an idiot."
Kate Smurthwaite was born in London in 1975 and turned to comedy and activism after a brief career in finance. She takes an annual political comedy show to the Edinburgh Fringe under the "News At Kate" brand. Her 2014 show, "The News At Kate: Leftie Cock Womble", is about language, free speech and the media. She also performs an interactive show about primatology and evolution called "The Evolution Will Be Televised" and hosts her own late night cabaret "Late With Kate". In 2013 she won a Three Weeks Editors' Award naming her one of the ten best things about the Edinburgh Fringe.
Kate appears regularly as a pundit on British television discussing politics, religion and feminism. In 201, a clip of Kate from BBC1's "The Big Questions" went viral with over three million hits under the title "Atheist Bitchslap". In January 2014 Kate was a guest on political flagship programme "Question Time" and had an opportunity to take Tory grandee Ken Clarke to task on issues including immigration and climate change.
Kate is in demand as a comedy writer, having written for the BAFTA-winning BBC3 series "The Revolution Will Be Televised" where sketches included a memorable attempt to convince the Department of Education to provide funding for a satanist faith school. She also writes for the UK's top political comedy show "Have I Got News For You?"
She also writes regular columns for New Internationalist, Feminist Times and NUT magazine The Teacher. She has also been published in The Guardian, The Independent, Cosmopolitan, The Mirror, New Statesman and a variety of online publications.
Kate is the vice chair of Abortion Rights UK, teaches English voluntarily to female asylum seekers through Women Asylum Seekers Together and is an active supporter of Eaves Housing and other charities. She is on the board of trustees of the Edinburgh Fringe Society.
Watch Kate on YouTube:
- at the 6th anniversary of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
- solo show recorded at the Women of the World festival on the South Bank
- debating religion at the BBC's 100 women conference
- interviewed by the Edinburgh Secular Society
- dealing with hecklers at late night Edinburgh Fringe show Spank!
More about Kate and her live appearances at www.katesmurthwaite.co.uk
Read her January 2016 Daily Telegraph article on feminism and atheism