Romesh Ranganathan

Romesh Ranganathan connects with his roots

Romesh Ranganathan connects with his roots

RomeshBBC Three is sending stand-up comedian Romesh Ranganathan to Sri Lanka to connect with his roots for a six part series called Romesh’s Return Ticket (working title) to be broadcast later this year. The people he meets, the places he goes, the experiences he has will all have been set up by his mum who is sending her son on the trip she has always wished he’d make.

Romesh gets asked about his Asian roots all the time. But he can’t answer any of the questions he’s asked. While that is a constant source of shame and embarrassment, he can’t quite bring himself to do something about it. Romesh, who considers himself British through and through, grew up in Crawley, doesn’t speak a word of Tamil, has no idea about his cultural heritage and has almost zero desire to go to Sri Lanka.

But his mum has other ideas and she’s sending him back to become the good Tamil boy she hoped he’d be. Each episode will be a mini-adventure revolving around one of the Ranganathan’s distant Sri Lankan friends or relations. They’ll be taking him to the must see locations and will also be expecting him to take part in traditional rituals and customs. And when it comes down to it they’ll also be expecting him to pull his weight.

The result is either going to be a sense of cultural awareness and a renewed sense of self-identity. Or it’s going to drive him mad.

Romesh said:
“I am both excited and nervous to be exploring the country of my heritage. My mum has long been frustrated with my lack of cultural understanding, and I am looking forward to her finally telling me that she loves me.”

Ed Sleeman, Commissioning Editor, BBC Entertainment said:
“We are delighted to commission Romesh to front this show where the audience is really going to get to know one of the finest comedians in Britain. Across the series we will watch the man from Crawley explore his heritage in Sri Lanka…whether he likes it or not. I can’t wait to see what happens!”

Iain Wimbush, Executive Producer for Rumpus, added:
“Romesh is a huge talent and it’s an absolute privilege to be working with him on such a personal project. This is a series where the rules of the traditional travelogue go out the window as his guides won’t be fixers and guide books – they’ll be his own Sri Lankan family …who he neither knows nor understands. We’re very excited; he’s terrified.”

Romesh’s Return Ticket is produced by RUMPUS for BBC Three. It was commissioned by Damian Kavanagh, Digital Controller BBC Three and Ed Sleeman, Commissioning Editor, BBC Entertainment.