Comedian Romesh Ranganathan on Going Vegan, Albanian Flag Tattoos, and Being a Hueligan

Romesh Ranganathan has been one of the UK’s most beloved comedians and a permanent fixture on our TV screens for the past decade. Honestly, he’s been on more comedy panel shows than we’ve had hot Huel Mac & Cheeze’s.

From freestyle rap battles in his youth to a career as a school teacher in his 20s and on to current comedy superstardom, Romesh’s story is a fascinating one. A man of many passions, when he’s not busy being funny he’s also a vocal vegan, a tattoo obsessive, and a children’s author.

Oh, and how does the hardest working man in British comedy fuel himself? Well, Huel, of course. 

Huel catches up with the world’s funniest Hueligan to talk about going vegan, the story behind his Albanian flag tattoo, and how Huel has helped him on his recent health and fitness journey.

What were your main reasons for going vegan? Do you ever find it difficult?

"I have been a vegetarian for ages. I read a pamphlet when I was 12 about meat and the killing of animals and I went home and told my parents that I never wanted to eat meat again.

"Then about 10 years ago, I read some stuff online that made me realise the reasons I wasn’t eating meat could probably be applied to dairy and eggs too. So I gave it all up. It’s much easier now [being vegan] than it was even 10 years ago."

You said you've been on quite the health journey recently and lost 3 stone (with the help of Huel!).

What did your health and fitness routine look like on this journey?

"I started using Huel to help with my calorie counting and protein requirements. The calories to protein ratio on the Complete Protein has been so useful, not to mention the fact it’s vegan (and the Vanilla bangs). I started hitting the gym for weights about 3-4 times a week, sometimes more if I fancied, and was trying to up my step count and cardio, but my appetite for that is a struggle. I have tried to drink more water which I find hard, but the shakes contribute to that too."

You work with a number of mental health charities. How do you manage your mental health?

"It’s something I have struggled with in the past. But I try to make sure I take time out regularly for mindfulness and staying on top of things. I also make sure to improve how I express my feelings to friends and family so I can rationalise and not feel so lonely, which can happen even if you are surrounded by people. Looking after yourself physically also plays a huge part."

As well as being a superstar comedian, you're also a dad of 3. How do you manage to find any free time and what are you doing with it?

(Besides kindly answering questions for us, of course).

"Balance is something I have struggled with. I don’t find my work to be work as I enjoy it so much, so sometimes I can get too busy. Our rule is that we always make sure we have some quality time planned to work towards and I always take the whole of the summer off as well as an extended break around Christmas.

"This does make the weeks leading up to those breaks a bit mad but it’s worth it. I have recently felt like I’m getting to a good equilibrium but I’m sure I’ll mess that up soon."

You've got quite a few tattoos... What's the story behind your favourite?

"It’s not my favourite but it has the best story I guess. I was doing a travel show in Albania and they have these old wartime bunkers that have been turned into galleries and workspaces. We visited one and there was an ex-con who did tattoos. He asked me if I wanted one and I just said yes. I got an Albanian flag on my left arm.

"Months later I was in a restaurant and the manager came to speak to me. He said 'Do you really have an Albanian flag on your arm? I said yes and he asked to see it. I showed it to him and he said 'I am Albanian and you never have to pay for anything in this restaurant ever again.' I have never had the guts to go back as I can’t just show them my arm."

And last, but most importantly, what's your favourite Huel?

"I love three in particular: Salted Caramel Black Edition, Vanilla Complete Protein and Mac & Cheeze. That with hot sauce is comfort food heaven."

Image credit: Charlie Clift/BAFTA via Getty images

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