Young Bedford Writers: Nicholas Goldwin speaks to Romesh Ranganathan

Romesh Ranganathan
Romesh Ranganathan

In our ongoing support of younger writers and future journalists, Milton Ernest teenager, Nicholas Goldwin has spoken to comedian Romesh Ranganathan for the Bedford Independent.

Romesh Ranganathan, for several reasons, considers himself very lucky.

He is fortunate enough not to be without income during these uncertain times and able to continue filming his TV programme ‘The Ranganation’ from the comfort of his own home, a fact no doubt celebrated by many of his fans and viewers.

He laments, however, that unhappily not a lot of comedians are as lucky as he has been, as stand-up is the only income stream for many of them.

In addition to the aforementioned Ranganation in which Romesh discusses relevant and topical issues with a panel of guests (many of whom are also comics), Romesh also has a travel series entitled ‘The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan’.

Here he travels to places where the general public may not often travel, or have misconceptions about due to the media.

Romesh has personally benefited from these travels as “it’s made me feel less uncomfortable about different situations. I’m kind of more open to travelling to different places and trying different things,” having had his horizons broadened by his travels.

However, Romesh has experienced many of the same struggles shared by parents in lockdown, most notably the struggles of online learning.

Having three boys of his own, Romesh has found it difficult keeping them from being stressed about the problems presented by online learning, especially because his children don’t see their parents as teachers, despite both of them having teaching backgrounds.

It has been particularly difficult striking the balance between keeping them up to date with their school work and preventing them from worrying about everything and becoming stressed.

Romesh has been writing regular weekly articles for the Guardian for the past couple of years, after receiving an initial invitation to write for them on what was originally thought to be a one-off basis.

He attempts to discuss both public issues and his own personal problems in these articles, including his mental health struggles, his political views and most recently the pandemic.

He has particularly spoken about his struggles with Imposter Syndrome in the past, and how it takes the form of a critical inner voice that has only become louder as time has gone on.

Fame hasn’t made it any better, but despite this, Romesh does not regret becoming famous, “the aim was never to become famous. The aim was to become a comic, and the fame thing has come as a side-effect.”

Romesh is grateful to have fans and enjoys meeting them in day-to-day life. He believes that his inner voice would have existed regardless of whether or not he was famous, as “that inner critic comes from spending our lives training to be horrible to ourselves.”

Romesh has said that “we can all do better at checking in with our friends and making sure they’re all right,” and that self-care regarding mental health is a matter of recognising when you are going through a tough time.

Continuing this theme, Romesh thinks it was important he shared these details about himself in his writings for the Guardian, as “making mental health issues something that people feel more comfortable or positive talking about will always be a positive thing.”

On the subject of pursuing a dream career, Romesh says that comedy is something that doesn’t feel like work because he is so passionate about it.

In his book, Straight Outta Crawley, Romesh details his struggles when beginning his comedy career.

“I was taken to the absolute brink of giving up standup,” he said, all while trying to jumpstart his career, having quit his previous job as a Maths teacher and was struggling to support his then-growing family.

Despite this, he was steadfast in doing what he loved for a living, commenting, “what I do feel really strongly about is that I think you should be doing something you love.”

Romesh’s tour will resume at a yet to be determined date.

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