Romesh Ranganathan on the character flaw that inspired his new comedy series Avoidance

Virgin Radio

8 Jun 2022, 11:23

Romesh Ranganathan

Credit: Getty

Comedian and actor Romesh Ranganathan joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about starring in new six-part comedy BBC show Avoidance.

The series premieres on BBC One on Friday, and sees Romesh in the lead role. He told Chris: “I play a guy called Jonathan, who is this conflict-avoidant guy who is so frustrating to live with that his partner leaves him, or asks him to leave, at the beginning of the series. And so, he has to face up to his ongoing issues, that he hasn’t done up to that point, for the sake of his son. He ends up living with his sister and her wife and they help him... I say help him, they make clear to him what his issues might be.”

He added: “It’s a comedy! It doesn’t sound very funny, the way I described it. It is a comedy! That’s really dark, the way I just described it. I should finish up by saying, 'And then hilarity ensues, guys!'"

The comedian, who created the series alongside director/producer Benjamin Green, explained: “That avoidance aspect is completely based on the character flaw I have. That was a starting point. I have that in me and we just thought it would be a funny thing to have a character have as their main trait. I like to think I disguise it a bit better, but it is based on me.”

Romesh stars alongside Jessica Knappett, Mandeep Dhillon and Lisa McGrillis. He said: “We thought it would be cool if he ended up living with his sister, somebody who is forced to put up with him, but also can recognise all his flaws, and then we thought ‘Why not give her a wife that hates him?’. The absolute opposite of what he’s about!

“That is a nuclear family in a different way, I guess, to what we’ve seen on screen before.”

When Chris asked Romesh what his hopes are for the show, he responded: “I just hope people get what we’re trying to do with it. I don’t have any tangible hopes for it. I just hope people like it. I really enjoyed making it."

The stand-up continues his rescheduled The Cynic’s Mixtape tour, wrapping up on the 4th August in his hometown, Crawley. When speaking about the fact that Covid caused many of the dates to be rescheduled, he said: “It feels like the longest tour of all-time. I’ve been doing it since 2018, I think, or 2019. But yeah, it’s been going on a long time.”

Romesh also stars alongside Rob Beckett in Sky Max’s Rob & Romesh vs…, in which the pair travel the world and take on challenges. When Chris asked Romesh to describe Rob in three words, he said: “Funniest bloke around”. However, when Rob was on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, earlier this week, he described Romesh in three words as: “Kind, tired, sad.” 

When he learned of this, Romesh joked: “You know what? That’s fine. I said a nice thing. He said ‘Kind,’ out of a sense of obligation, and then 'Tired and sad' is what he actually meant!”

Avoidance begins on Friday at 9.30pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

For more great interviews listen to  The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or  catch up on-demand here