Romesh Ranganathan has been working his way up the comedy ladder for more than a decade. Now a star of stage and television, the Crawley-born comedian, who studied his craft in Brighton, has just released his first book. He speaks to Jamie Walker about how he hopes it will enlighten, but not inspire, readers.

Hi Romesh, how are you? I imagine this is a busy time for you?

Yeah a little bit, I’ve been busy but it’s evened out a little bit.

After so much built up with your book you must be delighted that it’s out?

Yeah I am, I’m a bit nervous as well.

Is it natural for that bit of anticipation to be there considering some of the personal things you’ve put in the book?

Yeah I guess so. It’s what people thing of it and also some of the stuff I haven’t said before. I always worry when stuff comes out. I like creating stuff, I don’t like the other bit as much.

I’d like to make stuff and then put it in a cupboard and have that be my job. When it comes out and it’s in the public domain that freaks me out.

You like the process, rather than the result?

Yeah the process. If stand-up could work without an audience that would be a lot less nerve-wracking and concerning.

So where did the desire to write a book come from?

I had talked about it a couple of years ago. I mainly started doing stand-up because of reading books from Steve Martin and Richard Prior, so I thought it would be a nice thing to do.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to inspire any other comedians, the fewer the better, but as a fan of Prior, reading the book it felt like you were getting an inside take that you wouldn’t have got from watching his stories and his movies, so I thought it would be a nice thing to do.

But I didn’t realise how long it would take, I thought I could spend an afternoon hashing it out but it took a bit longer.

Do you think your background puts a different take on that story?

You read a lot of books about 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. I think that is above and beyond, the story is that if I can do it anyone can do it.

I wanted to write about the stand-up process because even my mates think I started doing comedy on TV but they don’t know that it’s this really horrible, well not horrible it’s enjoyable, but the grind you do can sometimes feel like it’s not going to work out.

That happens with everybody, I’m not unique in that, but then the flip side is you don’t often read books about people who struggled and then it didn’t work out.

I think to balance it out there should be a book by people who tried to make it and struggled against adversity and then it still went tits up, that would be a refreshing take on it.

Do you think it’s also important for your fans to see that comedy isn’t an overnight process?

If you’re a fan of my stand-up and want to see how it got to this point then I hope it will be an interesting read, just like it was for me reading about people I was a fan of.

I think some people may think that in your career you’ve smashed every gig but that’s not true. There’s a lot of failure and things that have gone wrong, I think that’s an interesting thing to see.