Romesh Ranganathan has never been shy about saying what is on his mind. Jamie Walker speaks to the Crawley-born comic about his self-deprecation, work on TV and his most honest tour to date.

“You read about a lot of people who have gone through struggle and end up being successful, but I don’t think any of those arguments is as compelling as growing up in Crawley.”

So says stand-up comedian Romesh Ranganathan.

Of course his comments are intended to be taken with a pinch of salt but, as he has never been afraid to say, his upbringing moulded the man he has become.

When The Argus spoke to him last year about his new book, Straight Outta Crawley, he was very open about his home town and how glad he was that he broke out into bigger and better things.

A year has passed since that conversation and now Romesh is out on the road with his new stand-up tour, The Cynic’s Mixtape.

And he says this hour-long comedy set could be his most revealing to date.

He said: “I think that I’m always trying to be as honest as I can, so I really try to tap into that.

“All the comics I love do that as well.

“Every tour I’ve done I think has been more honest than the last and I think this one is more so again. On a surface level it’s looking at the things I’m concerned about, from my point of view.

“I’m a fairly cynical person and it’s going to be very honest.”

The 41-year-old says the show will make the audience feel better about themselves.

“I think you’ll feel better about yourself because you’re not me,” he said.

“I would say that this is one of the most life-affirming stand-up shows you can watch because you’ll be glad you’re not me.

“Being a stand-up gives you a licence to say your innermost thoughts without caring what people think.

“Some of my favourite moments are when you hear comedians articulate a thought that you have but you’ve never been able to say out loud.

“It’s that human condition that makes that kind of stand-up so good. I haven’t got to the stage yet where I feel like I’m that sort of comedian.”

Despite growing up in Crawley, Brighton is a place Romesh is always happy to call home.

He, along with names such as Shappi Khorsandi, Seann Walsh, Angela Barnes and Simon Evans all graduated from the Jill Edwards Comedy Course at the Brighton Komedia.

Now he travels the country doing shows, Romesh says there is always something nice about returning to the seaside.

He said: “When I first started I only gigged in Brighton because the stand-up scene was great. I was able to gig four or five times a week with no issues.

“I started doing Komedia, which is now one of my go-to places when I’m trying new material.

“The comedy circuit is still super supportive in Brighton so whenever I gig there it’s always really nice.

“When I first started I did a gig called Top Banana which was in Hove and the woman running it liked my set and booked me loads of gigs. I wouldn’t do that for anybody, I’d try to talk them out of it, but it’s a really supportive scene.

“A lot of people in Brighton have seen me doing shows years ago when I first started, which always feels nice.

“I don’t get as nervous about those shows that are a home crowd. It feels more like those people know me, whether that’s true or not I don’t know but that’s my perception.”

Since his early beginnings in stand-up Romesh has gone on to appear in several TV shows, even hosting a few himself.

The comedian can now count Asian Provocateur, The Misadventures Of Romesh Ranganathan, Judge Romesh and The Ranganation among popular shows he has put his name to.

And he said his current mix of television and stand-up makes for a nice balance.

He said: “Stand-up is definitely my first love but the problem is that it doesn’t matter how good something is, if you do it without a break for a long time you can start to stop appreciating it.

“When you switch between the two it’s almost like a palate cleanser, it resets your enthusiasm.

“My enthusiasm for anything is low at the start anyway so it needs a refresh.

“When I started I just wanted to be able to pay the bills with comedy.

“Being a circuit comic would have been amazing. Everything else just feels like a massive bonus.

“But it’s very fickle, this could all go, the phone could stop ringing and I’ll be begging for another series.

“The thing I have to fall back on is stand-up and that’s what I’ve always loved, even if it’s just me in a park with a megaphone I’d still be doing stand-up.”

When it comes to his numerous television appearances, he says it is nice to constantly be doing something different.

He said: “A League Of Their Own is a laugh, apart from the physical challenges, they’re absolutely awful, but the show itself is a laugh.

“Whereas Misadventures [Of Romesh Ranganathan] is difficult to film, it’s challenging. I get nervous about doing it because the experiences are challenging, but you like it once you’ve done it.

“Then you forget how tough it was when you agree to do another one. I get the most buzz from doing live work.”

In 2018, Romesh also took on a legal role as a judge in Judge Romesh for two series.

He says he watched other TV judges for inspiration but when it comes to TV’s most famous judge he is sure he wouldn’t want to trade places with her.

He said: “I think Judge Judy is very funny and I’m a terrible judge.

“I think of some of the judgements I made and I got it so wrong, I look back on some and think 100 per cent I should have gone the other way, but what can you do.

“On the day I’d take a dislike to someone, sometimes just if I didn’t like their jacket.

“So I’d say Judge Judy would be a better comedian than I would be a judge.”