Katherine Ryan has revealed that she and partner Bobby Kootstra chose to enter into a civil partnership instead of getting married.
Ryan, who co-presented Channel 4's alternative election night coverage this week, recently reunited with Kootsra, her childhood sweetheart, after 20 years apart.
“I entered into a civil partnership. It’s perfect having a civil partner," the comedian said on Saturday's episode of The Jonathan Ross Show.
“We didn’t have a wedding," she continued. "I didn’t need to put on a white dress and pretend to be a virgin – that ship has sailed!"
She and Kootstra entered into their civil partnership in Denmark because it was "quickest and cheapest", she added.
Ryan joked that her daughter "put Chanel glasses on and moped around [Copenhagen landmark] Tivoli Gardens" when she found out about the civil partnership, but is now totally supportive.
"It’s a beautiful thing because she really loves him and it means she trusts me again. I actually made a good decision for once," Ryan said.
Civil partnerships were introduced in the UK in 2004 to allow same-sex couples to recognise their relationships legally for the first time. Since 2014, same-sex couples in most parts of the UK have also be able to choose marriage as a way of formally recognising their relationship.
As of December 2019, mixed-sex couples in the UK can also register for a civil partnership. Prime Minister Theresa May announced last year that civil partnership legislation would be expanded to accommodate heterosexual couples as well.
"This change in the law helps protect the interests of opposite-sex couples who want to commit, want to formalise their relationship, but don’t necessarily want to get married," she said at the time.
The government has predicted that as many as 84,000 mixed-sex couples will choose to enter into a civil partnership in the next year. By 2029, once uptake has stabilised following the initial flurry, it anticipates that around 30,000 mixed-sex couples each year will enter into a civil partnership.