Romesh Ranganathan: who is the comedian and Weakest Link host replacing Anne Robinson, and who is his wife?

The 43-year-old currently stars in ‘The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan’ on BBC Two

British comedian Romesh Ranganathan is to host the BBC’s reboot of it’s famous quiz show, The Weakest Link.

His self-deprecating style of humour is a far cry from former host Anne Robinson’s icy demeanour and scathing remarks.

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Ranganathan has won a BAFTA and was awarded Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards in 2013, and has been frequenting the likes of 8 Out of 10 Cats and Have I Got News For You since 2015.

Romesh will be the new face of The Weakest Link, which is set to return for a 12 part series (Picture: BBC)
Romesh will be the new face of The Weakest Link, which is set to return for a 12 part series (Picture: BBC)

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So, who is he - and what has he said about taking the lead from Robinson? This is what you need to know.

Who is Romesh Ranganathan?

Ranganathan was born in 1978 to Sri Lankan Tamil parents and was raised in Crawley, Sussex, with his younger brother Dinesh.

Anne Robinson was the host of The Weakest Link for over a decade, she has now joined Channel 4's Countdown (Picture: BBC)

He was raised in the Hindu faith and studied mathematics at Birkbeck College, University of London, before becoming a secondary school Maths teacher at Hazelwick School in Crawley and The Beacon School, Banstead, Surrey.

Ranganathan suffers from ptosis which causes a drooping of the eyelid and he has a lazy eye, which causes the eye to be unfocused when the person is tired.

In 2012, he became a full-time comedian and shot to fame in 2013 after he won Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival.

Romesh is not his real first name, his name is Jonathan Romesh Ranganathan. His parents decided to call him Jonathan as they were concerned Romesh was “too ethnic”, he did not discover this until he was in primary school.

Since becoming a famous comedian, he has starred in his own shows such as The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan, which his mum Shanthi has also joined him in.

Is Romesh married and does he have children?

Romesh met his wife Leesa while they were both teaching at Hazelwick School, she was a drama teacher.

Together they have three sons - Alex, Theo and Charlie.

Romesh admitted he became obsessed with tattoos at one stage and has his children’s names tattooed.

What did he say about hosting The Weakest Link?

On 28 June, Ranganathan was confirmed as the new host for the BBC’s reboot of quiz show ‘The Weakest Link’, formerly hosted by Anne Robinson.

He said of taking over from the formidable presenter: “Anne was an amazing host and to step into her shoes is an anxiety-inducing privilege.

"I'm hoping we've found a way to make both the fans of the show happy as well as bringing a new audience to it."

Robinson recently returned to TV, hosting Channel 4’s Countdown following Nick Hewer’s retirement from the show.

What other programmes has he starred in?

Ranganathan has starred on many shows, as well as appearing as a guest on comedy panel shows such as Have I Got News For You.

In 2015, he appeared as a regular panelist on BBC’s The Apprentice: You’re Fired and ITV’s Play to the Whistle, as well as getting his own BBC Three show Asian Provocateur.

He has since joined fellow comedian Rob Beckett in ‘Romesh and Rob vs..’ which has starred celebrities such as Anthony Joshua.

He has also had a number of one-off shows on Sky, including Romesh's Look Back to the Future, A League of Their Own: Christmas Party 2020 and A League of Their Own Roadtrip: Loch Ness to London.

Ranganathan also starred in Dave’s Judge Romesh for two seasons, from 2018 to 2019.

When is The Weakest Link back on television?

The new series will be filmed in Glasgow, will run to 12 45-minute episodes and will be shown in a primetime BBC One slot.

The return of The Weakest Link has not yet been given a release date.