Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan have faced various challenges in their sidesplitting show – but how would they fare in the greatest challenge of all?
By Chris Miller, Writer
Comedians and best mates Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan have thrown themselves into a multitude of challenges over three series of Rob & Romesh Vs, from facing sports stars like Andy Murray and Anthony Joshua to performing in ballet or as DJs. And now they’re back for a fourth run, which starts with their attempts to get involved in strongman events at the Arnold Sports Festival. Sounds like the usual recipe for disaster…
A big part of the appeal of the show comes from Rob and Romesh’s friendly rivalry. At least, it’s usually friendly, although occasionally Rob’s eager enthusiasm genuinely seems to put more cynical Romesh in a bad mood. And the less said about the time when Rob “accidentally” booked them into a romantic honeymoon suite in Jamaica, the better.
So we thought we’d put that competitive relationship to the test: who is the real winner between Rob and Romesh? We look back at their brilliant careers to find out.
Comedy panel shows
Appearances on TV panel shows are the bread and butter of many comedians’ careers, from the established hits like Have I Got News For You and Mock The Week to the shorter-lived likes of Insert Name Here and Virtually Famous. Rob and Romesh are no exception: Rob was a team captain on Channel 4’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats from 2016 to 2020, while Romesh went from regular panellist on Sky’s A League Of Their Own to hosting the show.
But which of the two has the most appearances? It’s Rob with a massive 121, whereas Romesh falls just short of a century with 92.
Podcasts are a big deal these days and if you don’t believe us, check out the venues on the upcoming tour of the Parenting Hell podcast Rob does with fellow comic Josh Widdicombe, which include Manchester’s AO Arena, the Utilita Arena in Birmingham and the O2 in London.
Both our guys have had two hit podcasts, Rob having also presented the football-based The Magic Sponge, while Romesh has had success with Hip Hop Saved My Life and Wolf And Owl, which he hosts with King Gary star Tom Davis. Who’s ahead? It’s tight, but while Rob has done an impressive 214 episodes of his two popular podcasts, Romesh is on 228.
Rob’s got an admirable body of presenting work: one of his first TV gigs was I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here NOW!, which he hosted for three series, and he has the likes of Savage Socials, Undeniable and Head Hunters on his CV too. This category belongs to Romesh, though: as well as A League Of Their Own, he’s starred in Judge Romesh and the Sunday-night hit The Ranganation, and he’s the new presenter of iconic quiz show The Weakest Link.
On top of that he’s made multiple series of his comedy travelogue shows The Misadventures Of Romesh Ranganathan, Just Another Immigrant and Asian Provocateur. It’s a body of work that’s landed him two BAFTAs.
One way for a comedian to know they’ve made it to household name status is a slot on a big mainstream chat show, where we love to see them on a sofa alongside huge American movie stars who usually haven’t heard of them and are shocked into raucous laughter (if they can understand what they’re saying).
Rob has a couple more appearances on The Graham Norton Show and The Jonathan Ross Show than Romesh, but on the other hand Romesh has been on one of the marquee US talk shows – The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. We’re going to give this one to Rob, who has made the A-list likes of Kevin Hart, Saoirse Ronan, Andrew Garfield, Tiffany Haddish and Felicity Jones guffaw on the celeb couches.
Romesh’s memoir Straight Outta Crawley tells the story of his rather unusual route into comedy: from running a pub he inherited from his father to teaching maths, via a brief time as an amateur rapper. Rob’s memoir A Class Act tells the story of his rather unusual route into comedy: from market trading to office temping, via bartending and “car-boot sale entrepreneur”.
Both were well reviewed and hit the Sunday Times best-seller lists. But Romesh has the jump on Rob here because he’s also written As Good As It Gets: Life Lessons From A Reluctant Adult – with a cover endorsement from Rob, who calls him “one of the funniest people in the world” – and it gives him the overall victory.
When is Sky Max’s Rob & Romesh Vs on TV?
The new series of Rob & Romesh Vs starts on Sky Max/HD (CH 122/121) at 9pm on Thursday 28 April, with episodes available after broadcast in Catch Up > Channels > Sky Max. Previous series are available to watch now in On Demand.
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