• Saturday, May 25, 2024

NEWS

Romesh Ranganathan to run London Marathon for suicide prevention charity

The 46-year-old revealed he struggled with certain events in his life such as when he did badly in his A-Levels and when his father was sentenced to prison.

Comedian Romesh Ranganathan (Photo by Shane Anthony Sinclair/Getty Images for BAUER)

By: Eastern Eye

COMEDIAN Romesh Ranganathan, who is patron of the suicide prevention charity, Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm), said there have been times in his life where he’s felt suicidal.

The 46-year-old revealed he struggled with certain events in his life such as when he did badly in his A-Levels and when his father was sentenced to prison.

“I had times in my life when I was suicidal, and I came really close,” he told The Telegraph earlier this month. “I thought about how I was going to do it.”

He also revealed how he ended up getting involved with Calm.

“The trigger for me was a guy I used to teach with, who went through a really tough time. We all rallied around him. I went for dinner with him [in 2019] and he was talking really positively about his future,” he said.

“Two weeks later, I heard he had taken his own life. Selfishly, you can’t help but think: ‘What did I not do that I could have done?’ Then you start thinking ‘What could I do going forward?’”

Ranganathan will be representing Calm when he runs the TCS London Marathon this Sunday (21).

The 46-year-old also opened up about his kids and the dangers of social media in their lives.

“People tell me I’m shit every day on social media. I’m immune to it, but [my children] are not. They see social media as all-encompassing, whereas I see it as a thing that I use,” he said.

“If they have an issue at school, they don’t escape that when they come home. If you were having the piss taken out of you, home used to be a sanctuary. You’d get shit at school, but your mum and dad wouldn’t know about it. You’d just have dinner and they’d ask why you’re not a doctor.”

He added, “My kids can’t escape it. We had to have an agreement that Leesa [his wife] and I can look at everything on their phones. Saying to a kid ‘it doesn’t really matter, you’ll move on’ doesn’t mean anything. Their value is so tied up in how their mates perceive them. It is a hard thing to negotiate.”

Ranganathan said his work also means his sons are exposed to some of the worst parts of the internet, in the form of the racist abuse he still endures.

“My kids know that I get racist stuff online. What you’re seeing is a version of road rage. People behave in a way they wouldn’t face to face.”

Asked if Britain still going the right way on race, he said, “Yes, I do. But it’s a tricky thing to handle because it has become publicly less acceptable to say those things, but it hasn’t become less acceptable to feel those things. And you can’t legislate for how somebody thinks.”

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