Since quitting his career as a maths teacher, Romesh Ranganathan has made quite a name for himself as an Asian provocateur.

In the past few years, Romesh, who lives in Crawley and taught at Hazelwick School, has performed critically acclaimed shows at the Edinburgh Festival and has appearing on TV shows including BBC1’s Live At The Apollo, Have I Got News For You and Dave’s Taskmaster.

Now he’s on tour with his new show Romesh Ranganathan: Irrational, which is coming to the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham this month. Already sold out, it’s billed as “a show exploring the rationality of his worldview” where he “examines the issues close to his heart, and explains why everybody else is wrong about them”.

Ropetackle spokesman Mark Phillips says, “Comedian Romesh Ranganathan has a date set for the Ropetackle in Shoreham in his new tour Irrational.

“The former maths teacher and resident of Crawley has been making waves on the comedy circuit for several years, appearing on Mock The Week, Live At The Apollo, Have I Got News For You, and most recently Dave’s Taskmasker.

“Following the critical acclaim of his previous shows, Rom Com and Rom Wasn’t Built In A Day, this show promises to be just as much a hit. Be quick, though, tickets are looking to sell out very soon.”

Last autumn, Romesh explored his Sri Lankan roots in BBC Three series Asian Provocateur, when he went to the island in the Indian Ocean with his mother Shanthi.

In a chatty BBC interview about the series, the mother and son talked about their relationship.

Shanthi said, “I’m very comfortable talking to Romesh about anything. Since my husband passed away, we’ll have long chats, and he’s such a wonderful, kind person and I can ask him anything. I don’t feel sad, because when I think about Romesh he’s there for me. All the time. It’s such a nice feeling.

“To work together with Romesh I found it very comfortable. He’d tell me: ‘This is what we are going to do, Mum.’ So I just carried on. I didn’t feel nervous or anything at all.”

Romesh says, “The thing is that the whole point of the show is that we’re just like…”

“Shouting at each other,” Shanthi finished for him.

“No, not shouting at each other,” said Romesh. “I mean that just happened to happen, but basically it’s not a lot like doing a TV show because you’re just having these experiences, and we were chatting about them, and we were just filming it. So it was easy in that regard.

“But Mum was very good, she just got into it and she wasn’t nervous around the cameras and stuff, she was just herself which is exactly what we wanted.”

“What a compliment, Romesh, thank you!” replied Shanthi. “I was surprised with myself that I wasn’t nervous at all.”

“Let’s be absolutely honest, Mum, you do see yourself having a TV career,” said Romesh. “The crew told her that she was very good, she started quietly going to me: ‘I do believe they think I’m very good, Rommy’. I think for her, in an ideal world, series two would not involve me. It would be a spin-off show where Mum’s like: ‘So we got rid of Romesh and now we can really get into the show.”

“No, no, no,” said Shanthi, laughing. “That’s what Romesh thinks! But I really enjoyed working with him. It was a fantastic, lovely experience. Sometimes I became emotional, thinking, ‘My god, I’m with my son, and they are filming me’, and then I have to control myself and get back to reality.

“And the other thing is that he went and did all the spiritual things, like going to the temple. He’s a religious boy. I never forced him to believe in anything. We are Hindu and Romesh always prays before he leaves the home. So I bless him with all my heart. It makes me cry sometimes, he’s such a wonderful son to have.”

Romesh said, “I mean, Mum, this is way over the top now. I’m supposed to be a comedian!”

And Shanthi replied, “I’m telling you the truth, Romesh, I don’t want to hide it. You know sometimes when you are facing each other it’s very difficult to express your feelings. You feel embarrassed. But I can’t see you now so I can say how I feel about you and the things I wanted to say. It’s a good opportunity for me.”

• Romesh Ranganathan: Irrational is at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Little High Street, Shoreham, at 8pm on Saturday April 23. Over 14s only. For details, phone 01273 464440 or visit