This interview is a part of our BAFTA 2020 particular for extra interviews discuss with The Big Interview hub.
To the makers of the BAFTA-winning A League of Their Own, Andrew Norgate is the senior video games manufacturer, who goals up the entire wild duties the panellists tackle. But to Romesh Ranganathan, he’s the personification of all his worst nightmares. “It’s weird. I love him and I think he’s the very best at what he does. But I can’t help associating his face with horror. He’s my Jason or my Freddy Krueger,” says the comic. “It’s because every time I see him, I’m going to be shown something that increases my anxiety level.”
Yet in spite of the nerves, Ranganathan (nominated for 2 BAFTAs for The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan and The Ranganation) all the time offers his all at the Sky 1 sports-based comedy panel display. And for this, Norgate is grateful. “Romesh is a godsend,” he says. “Many of the professional sports people we have on won’t do any of the games. They’re not allowed. So what Romesh brings is a fantastic willingness. Even though — and I don’t think he’ll be offended if I say this — he’s not a natural athlete.”
Is Ranganathan angry? “No, because I was terrible at PE at school. I was an overweight kid who had terrible hand-eye coordination. All of my PE reports said, ‘Romesh has coped ably despite his obvious physical drawbacks.’ So I now consider myself to be a hero and an inspiration. People are looking at me and thinking, ‘There’s no way I could be as awful as him. Yet he still does it every week.’” He become a normal staff captain in 2018, so indisputably he can’t nonetheless be fearful of the bodily demanding situations?
“I’m still terrified every single time,” he laughs. “And there have been occasions when I’ve thought, ‘I can’t complete this.’ It’s got to the stage now where it’s about getting through this without ending my career.”
Norgate, regardless that, believes the superstar is being too harsh on himself. “We shoot on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. So, because he’s doing those games pretty much back to back, Rom does get knocked around a lot. And the thing is, he’s getting better and better. He’s now far more athletic. Well, reasonably more athletic…”
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