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Everything you need to know about comedian and presenter Romesh Ranganathan

The TV star is fronting his new show Misadventures From My Sofa

Jenni McKnight

One of Britain's best-loved comedians Romesh Ranganathan may be a household name now, but his rise to the top hasn't been without its struggles. 

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The TV presenter and comedian, who's fronting his new series The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan: From My Sofa, dealt with poverty as a teenager after his father went to prison. The family home was repossessed and they spent 18 months living in a B&B while waiting for a council house. Let's take a closer look at Romesh's life…

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Romesh is presenter and comedian

Who is Romesh Ranganathan?

Romesh Ranganathan is a stand-up comedian, presenter and actor. He was born in Crawley, West Sussex on 27 March 1978 making him 42 years old. Romesh is actually his middle name. His parents named him Jonathan, which he revealed was because they were concerned his name would otherwise sound too "ethnic" when applying for jobs in the UK later in life.

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The comedian is fronting new series Misadventures From My Sofa

He started out as a maths teacher but later moved into a comedy career. He previously told the Big Issue: "I didn’t know about the comedy scene and was happy teaching. I learnt that you start off doing gigs in pubs to eight people who don’t know there is comedy on. Then I got offered more gigs and eventually paid gigs."

Who is Romesh Ranganathan's wife?

Romesh married his wife Leesa, who worked as a drama teacher, in 2009. The couple met in the early days of his stand-up career and she is very supportive of him. The comedian often uses his family in his jokes, however, any material that references his wife is said to require strict approval. He once said that his mum brings over "care packages" of food to his house after Leesa has cooked a meal.

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Romesh and his wife Leesa have been together for over a decade

Revealing the secrets to their long-lasting marriage, Romesh previously told The Mirror: "The key to a happy marriage is myself being absent for long periods of time. My wife Leesa and I will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary next year, but if my comedy gigs petered out and I was around the house more, we'd 100 per cent be getting divorced. As a husband, I’m much more appealing when I’m not actually there at all."

How many children does Romesh Ranganathan have?

Romesh and Leesa share three children, sons Alex, Charlie and Theo. According to the Crawley Observer, Leesa gave birth to their son Charlie at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, during The Edinburgh Fringe Festival where Romesh was performing.

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Romesh and Lisa share three sons

What happened to Romesh Ranganathan's eye?

Romesh suffers from a right-sided ptosis, a drooping or falling of the upper eyelid. Although he describes it as a "lazy eye" – the result of a serious eye infection when he was a child – it is the lid that is affected, not the co-ordination of his eyes.

Why did Romesh Ranganathan's dad go to prison?

Romesh's accountant dad Ranga served a two-year prison sentence for fraud at Ford open prison in West Sussex. Romesh recalled how the family would visit him on Sundays. "It was horrific. You just become numb to it," he once said. "Those experiences definitely had a profound effect on me."

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Romesh and his mum Shanthi

Before his stint in prison, Ranga’s spiralling debts resulted in the family home being repossessed – and then he left his wife for another woman. Romesh told the Big Issue: "This all happened very, very quickly. It was a struggle. My mum found out my dad had been messing around. He fell into financial difficulty so we ended up getting our house taken away. We were supposed to go into a council flat but they didn’t have enough so we were in a bed and breakfast for a year-and-a-half. And my dad was in prison. It was insane, going from super comfortable to everything falling away." After prison, Romesh's mum and dad reconciled and lived happily together until his father died suddenly from a heart attack when he was 70.

What else has Romesh Ranganathan starred in?

Romesh has also made numerous appearances on TV comedy panel shows, and in 2016 he co-presented It's Not Rocket Science on ITV, alongside Rachel Riley and Ben Miller. He also joined A League of Their Own as a regular panellist in 2018, replacing Jack Whitehall. He has presented comedy programmes Judge Romesh and The Ranganation.

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