Romesh Ranganathan has revealed he was racially abused at the private school he attended.
The British-Sri Lankan comedian, 45, has become one of the BBC’s biggest stars in recent years and has hosted the revival of The Weakest Link since 2021, replacing Anne Robinson.
Romesh has been open about the difficulties of his childhood, describing his family’s financial difficulties when his father was jailed for fraud.
He has now opened up about his harrowing experience at the independent Reigate Grammar School, which he attended from 1990 to 1992.
Romesh revealed that he was ‘racially abused’ during his time at Reigate and that he was seen as an ‘outsider’ by the other boys.
Difficult: Romesh Ranganathan has revealed he was racially abused at the private school he attended
Rising star: The comedian, 45, has become one of the BBC’s biggest stars in recent years, hosting the revival of The Weakest Link
Speaking to the Radio Times podcast, he said: ‘My parents had come from Sri Lanka and they were obsessed with me going to private school.
‘I didn’t enjoy my time there. I was a bit of an outsider. Without getting too dark, I was racially abused.
‘So, I wasn’t that bothered about leaving. I went to a state school, had a great time and went on to teach at that same school – which is where I met my wife.’
Full story: Romesh’s full interview is available on the Radio Times podcast
Romesh shares three sons, 14, 12 and nine, with his wife Leesa. The family live in Crawley.
He previously told of the struggles his family faced when he was younger when their home was repossessed after his accountant father was jailed for two years for fraud.
He recalled previously how the family spent a period in bed-and-breakfast accommodation as they waited for the council to rehouse them, he said: ‘This all happened very, very quickly. It was a struggle.
‘My mum found out my dad had been messing around. He fell into financial difficulty so we ended up getting our house taken away.
‘We were supposed to go into a council flat, but they didn’t have enough so we were in a bed-and-breakfast for a year and a half. And my dad was in prison. It was insane.’
In 2022 Romesh moved into a £3m new home just five miles from the humble terrace house where he grew up.
A source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Romesh could have moved somewhere flash but he decided to stay in Crawley, where his roots are. It’s where his mum and brother are and it’s a town he loves.
‘He has managed to find a space there to build his dream home, though it is rather bigger than his childhood home in one of the poorer areas of Crawley. It’s a lovely story of rags to riches which Romesh has worked very hard for.’