Romesh Ranganathan has sneaked up on the British public to take his place among the leading stand-up comics of the day.
Regular spots on panel game shows Play to the Whistle and 8 Out of 10 Cats, and a presenter role on prime time ITV’s It’s Not Rocket Science have shot the ex-maths teacher into the mainstream.
His gig at the Grand showed that it surely won’t be long before Ranganathan is selling out arenas, rubbing shoulders with the Peter Kays and Michael McIntyres in the pantheon of British stand-up.
Seriously, he’s that funny. For much of Romesh’s set on Friday night, I was in a fit of belly laughter.
This doesn’t happen to me often. It certainly hadn’t happened while his warm-up act Phil Jerrod was on stage, providing one solitary titter in a bland 20-minute routine.
But Ranganathan has all the attributes of the great comedians.
Like Eric Morecambe, Miranda Hart and Tommy Cooper, Romesh looks funny just standing there without saying a word.
With his quiffed hair, bushy beard, specs, long jacket and trainers combo, and pearly-white gnashers, Ranganathan is a walking cartoon.
As he walked on and noticed the Grand’s ‘royal boxes’ overlooking the stage, he asked “What is this, The Muppet Show?”
I expected much of his material to play on his Sri Lankan heritage and while Ranganathan does use his cultural background to poke fun at himself, the race card never dominates. Romesh’s rise to prominence has been rapid. It won’t be ending soon.