Home Feamil Romesh Ranganathan apologises for jokes he made when he was EIGHT

Romesh Ranganathan apologises for jokes he made when he was EIGHT


Romesh Ranganathan takes the celebrity mea culpa to new heights as he apologises for jokes he made aged EIGHT about ‘Irish people being stupid’ during a talent show at Pontins

  • Comedian Romesh Ranganathan, 46, from Crawley, regrets jokes told as child
  • Romesh was performing both his own comedy and pre-written jokes from a book
  • Former teacher told he performed the Pontins talent show set in an Irish accent 
  • Called performance a ‘horrendously racist set’ and that he ‘doesn’t stand by it’ 

Romesh Ranganathan has said he ‘doesn’t stand by’ jokes he made at the age of ‘eight or nine’ at a Pontins Holiday Park talent show. 

The 42-year-old comedian, from Crawley, has told how as a child he was confronted by a family friend after winning a talent contest by telling ‘horrendously racist’ jokes about ‘Irish people being stupid’.

The stand-up, who is married to wife Leesa, 41, with whom he has three sons, Alex, Theo and Charlie, said that he ‘didn’t think anything of it’ at the time of his performance.

But appearing on Chris Evans’ How To Wow podcast, he said that when he sat down with his parents, a friend of theirs pointed out that he was Irish, prompting the performer to reflect ‘I probably shouldn’t have done that’.  

Romesh Ranganathan, pictured in 2016, has said he 'doesn't stand by' jokes he made at the age of 'eight or nine' at a Pontins Holiday Park talent show

Romesh Ranganathan, pictured in 2016, has said he ‘doesn’t stand by’ jokes he made at the age of ‘eight or nine’ at a Pontins Holiday Park talent show

The stand-up, who is married to wife Leesa, 41, with whom he has three sons, Alex, Theo and Charlie, said that he 'didn't think anything of it' at the time of his performance

The stand-up, who is married to wife Leesa, 41, with whom he has three sons, Alex, Theo and Charlie, said that he ‘didn’t think anything of it’ at the time of his performance

‘I was like eight or nine or something,’ said Romesh. ‘I was really into stand up, I was really into comedy in general. There was a talent contest at Pontins and I entered as a stand up.

‘I think I wrote a couple of my own jokes. I decided to deliver it all in an accent, because I thought it’s funnier. The rest of the jokes I took from a joke book called 3001 Jokes.

‘And a lot of those jokes were just about Irish people being stupid. I didn’t think anything of it, I just thought it was funny. So I started doing some material, and then I look back on it…

‘I mean now, obviously it was a horrendously racist set. I don’t stand by it, the content of it. I want to be absolutely crystal clear on that. 

The stand-up, who is married to wife Leesa, 41, with whom he has three sons, Alex, Theo and Charlie, said that he 'didn't think anything of it' at the time of his performance

The stand-up, who is married to wife Leesa, 41, with whom he has three sons, Alex, Theo and Charlie, said that he ‘didn’t think anything of it’ at the time of his performance

‘I distance myself from what happened at Pontins.’

The father of three, a former teacher whose parents are Sri Lankan, added that it was his first experience of ‘seeing the aftermath’ having said something offensive on stage.

He said: ‘The routine [lasted] maybe five, ten minutes, something like that.Weirdly, somebody that my mum and dad made friends with at Pontins. 

‘They were sat at this table and I finished the competition and went and sat down with them.

The father of three, a former teacher whose parents are Sri Lankan, added that it was his first experience of 'seeing the aftermath' having said something offensive on stage

The father of three, a former teacher whose parents are Sri Lankan, added that it was his first experience of ‘seeing the aftermath’ having said something offensive on stage

‘One of the guys said “I’m Irish, did you know that Romesh?”. It was my first taste of kind of seeing the aftermath of saying something offensive on stage.

‘He was saying it in a funny way but, now that I think about it, I probably shouldn’t have done that. Although, I won.’ 

The Crawley born stand up admits that he wasn’t facing stiff competition, and that one of his two competitors played a ‘kazoo’ as her performance.  

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