Romesh Ranganathan

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Romesh Ranganathan
Romesh Ranganathan in 2013.jpg
Ranganathan at the 2013 NFRN Awards
Birth name Jonathan Romesh Ranganathan[1]
Born (1978-01-30) January 30, 1978 (age 40)[1]
Crawley, West Sussex, England
Medium Stand-up, television, radio
Genres Observational comedy, character comedy
Spouse Leesa Ranganathan[1]
Children 3

Jonathan Romesh Ranganathan (born January 30, 1978) is a British stand-up comedian and actor. He was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2013 Edinburgh Comedy Awards.[2] He has made multiple appearances on comedy panel shows and in 2016, he co-presented It's Not Rocket Science, alongside Rachel Riley and Ben Miller.[3] He is known for his deadpan comedy.[4]

He is a regular panellist on The Apprentice: You're Fired!, and was formerly a regular on Play to the Whistle and the eleventh series of The Museum of Curiosity. In 2016, he completed his first major tour, Irrational Live, in which he performed in some iconic venues such as the Hammersmith Apollo. This tour was also released as a DVD. Ranganathan will also join A League of Their Own as a regular panellist in 2018, replacing Jack Whitehall.


As mentioned on a 2013 episode of Live at the Apollo (series 9) in which he featured, Ranganathan started performing as a comedian whilst working as a mathematics teacher at Hazelwick School in Crawley, and The Beacon School, Banstead, Surrey.[5]

Ranganathan started presenting Newsjack on Radio 4 Extra in March 2014.[6]

He appeared on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice in 2014, during which he presented his homemade vegan chocolate brownies. Ranganathan is a vegan, having formerly been a vegetarian up until 2013.[7]

Ranganathan has guested on multiple episodes of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.[8] He has also appeared on Would I Lie to You?, Holby City, Soccer AM, Russell Howard's Good News, Sweat the Small Stuff, The Last Leg, Virtually Famous, Have I Got News for You, QI and Mock the Week. He was a regular contestant on the first series of Taskmaster and also appeared in the third episode of Jon Richardson Grows Up.

He also performed at The Royal Variety Performance in 2015.

In 2015, he presented a series for BBC Three, Asian Provocateur, in which he travelled to Sri Lanka to explore his ancestral country.[9] In October 2016, the second series was aired in which Ranganathan and his mother travel to the United States to meet more of his relatives.

He also joined The Apprentice: You're Fired! in 2015 as a regular panellist. The show is a spin-off from The Apprentice. In December 2015, he appeared in Josh Widdicombe's self-titled sitcom, Josh. In 2016, he co-presented It's Not Rocket Science, a new entertainment series for ITV, alongside Ben Miller and Rachel Riley. In 2017, he became the eleventh co-presenter to John Lloyd on the BBC Radio series The Museum of Curiosity.

Personal life[edit]

Romesh Ranganathan in 2015

Ranganathan was raised in Crawley, West Sussex. He is married and has three children. In 2014, Ranganathan's wife, Leesa, was admitted to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary during The Edinburgh Fringe Festival where Ranganathan was appearing, and gave birth to their son.[10]

Prior to his comedy career, he was a freestyle rapper under rap name "Ranga" and once reached the finals of the UK freestyle competition.[11]

Ranganathan studied Mathematics at Birkbeck College, University of London.[12] He subsequently taught Maths at Hazelwick School in Crawley before becoming a professional comedian in 2012. His wife was a Drama teacher at Hazelwick.[13]

He is of Sri Lankan Tamil descent[14] and a keen supporter of Arsenal F.C.[15]

Ranganathan is a vegan[16] and was raised in the Hindu faith.[17] His mother has said that he "always prays before he leaves the home",[18] although Ranganathan describes himself as "not massively spiritual".[19] He suffers from a right-sided ptosis (drooping eyelid), which he describes as a "lazy eye".[20]

His father died in 2013.[21]



Year Title Channel Role Notes
2014 Damned Sky One Nitin Pilot (recast in Channel 4 reboot)
2015–17 Play to the Whistle ITV Regular panelist 3 series
2015 The Apprentice: You're Fired! BBC Two Regular panelist 1 series
2015–16 Asian Provocateur BBC Three Presenter 2 series
2015 Taskmaster Dave Contestant 1 series
2015 Josh BBC Three Guest role Series 1, episode 5
2015 Yonderland Sky One Priest Series 2, Episode 5
2016 It's Not Rocket Science ITV Co-presenter 1 series
2017 Comic Relief BBC One / BBC Two Co-presenter
2017 Romesh: Talking to Comedians[22] BBC Three Presenter 1 series
2017 Comedy Playhouse: Mister Winner[23] BBC One Ajay One-off comedy
2018 Just Another Immigrant Showtime Docuseries
2018 The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan[24] BBC Two Presenter 1 series
2018 Judge Romesh[25] Dave Presenter Upcoming series


Year Title Role Notes
2016 Irrational Stand-up Debut DVD

Guest appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Romesh Ranganathan". 
  2. ^ "Comedy awards shortlist unveiled". Irish Independent. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Stand Up for the Week announces new line-up". British Comedy Guide. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Tamplin, Harley (19 March 2015). "Review: Russell Kane, Romesh Ranganathan and Charlie Baker at Christ's Hospital". West Sussex County Times. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  5. ^ Truelove, Sam (3 October 2016). "7 famous people who you may not have realised went to school in Crawley". Kent Live. Retrieved 17 June 2018. 
  6. ^ Newsjack at BBC Programmes
  7. ^ Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live 2014, Part 2 at BBC Programmes
  8. ^ "8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown". Channel 4. 
  9. ^ "Romesh Ranganathan: 'I was a bumbling Englishman in a Sri Lankan disguise'". The Guardian. 
  10. ^ "Comic Romesh celebrates success and birth of a son". Crawley Observer. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "The Spotlight on ... Romesh Ranganathan". 11 November 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "Romesh Ranganathan: I was a proper wannabe rudeboy at university". 
  13. ^ "Former Crawley teacher now a comedian who has supported Ricky Gervais and appeared on Live at the Apollo". Crawley News. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  14. ^ Hodges, Michael (7 October 2015). "Asian Provocateur: What comic Romesh Ranganathan learnt about Sri Lanka in his new BBC3 show". Radio Times. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  15. ^ "Who is Romesh Ranganathan? Stand up comedian and regular panellist on Play to the Whistle". The Sun. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  16. ^ Jones, Alice (12 February 2015). "Soya think you're funny? Introducing the UK's first Vegan Comedy Festival". The Independent. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  17. ^ "Romesh Ranganathan on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 4 January 2017. [non-primary source needed]
  18. ^ "Romesh Ranganathan proves even TV comedians get embarrassed by their mums". TV blog. BBC. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  19. ^ "9 things Romesh Ranganathan learnt when his mum took him on a cultural crash course to Sri Lanka". Radio Times. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  20. ^ "From teaching maths to performing comedy for Prince Harry: meet Romesh Ranganathan". Topics. Retrieved 2018-03-14. 
  21. ^ "Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Romesh Ranganathan". Beyond The Joke. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2018. 
  22. ^ British Comedy Guide (15 March 2017). "Romesh Ranganathan to host BBC Three chat show – News – British Comedy Guide". Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  23. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Mister Winner - BBC1 Sitcom - British Comedy Guide". British Comedy Guide. 
  24. ^ "BBC - BBC announces new popular factual and factual entertainment commissions - Media Centre". 
  25. ^ "UKTV announces new commissions for 2018". 23 January 2018. 
  26. ^ "Big Fat Quiz – On Demand". Channel 4. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 

External links[edit]