7 Questions with… Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan: 'I think we finally found a way to be sexy'
Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan are back for series 3 of Rob and Romesh Vs on Sky One. This time they take on drag, golf and modern art, and told us how they got on.
Watch Rob and Romesh Vs series 3 on Thursdays at 10pm on Sky One with NOW TV.
If you need your spirits lifting this month, Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan are here to help with series three of Rob and Romesh Vs on Sky One.
The comedy duo are taking on three unusual challenges – art, golf and drag – and will meet some famous faces along the way including golfer Justin Rose and Drag Race stars Michelle Visage and Baga Chips.
We caught up with Rob and Romesh to find out how they were coping in the latest lockdown and what we can expect from the new episodes…
1. Series 3 starts with the Art episode. Did you enjoy the challenges?
Romesh: The thing I found about performance art is it’s hard to know if you’re doing well or not. Every time you start to think you’re getting it, our performance art expert would say, "you’re enjoying it too much, you are undermining the art of it". I did enjoy it. If you told me I could make a living doing that, I’d be bang up for it. Smashing a potato and screaming, I can do that.
Rob: It worked for Bodger and Badger, didn’t it?
2. What was the life drawing exercise like?
Rob: The problem is that a naked man’s willy is funny, isn’t it. I’ve not been around many one-on-one, but when a guy has it out and you’ve got to sculpt it, it’s quite a full-on experience. To be that close to a d**k in the pandemic world of social distancing, it was quite confusing.
Romesh: It’s a difficult because you want to be mature about it and not childish, but at the same time you want the other person to get as close to it as you can.
Rob: I didn’t know that when a man laughs his willy moves. It’s going to really confuse me at gigs. When I get a good laugh, I’ll know that.
Romesh: There must be a stat for an Apollo gig on how much d**k wiggle there is at an average show.
Rob: When you get a really good laugh – what a d**k-wiggler that was.
3. What was it like doing drag for episode 3?
Rob: I was so hyped up and stressed about doing the drag performance, the adrenaline high was so big – I’d not done a gig for ages because of the Panny-D – so that was amazing.
But we had to film the end scene on Brighton beach and just before we filmed that I was told we going into Tier 4, the shops were shutting at midnight and I couldn’t get my wife’s Christmas present. Christmas was cancelled. So I will remember shooting that scene forever because it was so stressful.
Romesh: The funniest thing about it was that Rob was desperate to get his wife this particular present. He’d ordered her some shoes and he was due to pick them up the next day. We had be s***ing ourselves about the drag performance, we were full of adrenaline and then the news broke.
I had to talk Rob down from going in full drag on Instagram and putting an appeal out to get these shoes. He was happy to ruin the end of the show and appear in drag with zero context. I saw the draft video and it was him shouting, "Ignore what I look like – I need to get some shoes for my wife!"
Rob: I literally contemplated driving in full drag from Brighton to Regent Street.
4. Who got the best drag makeover?
Rob: I fancied Romesh in drag I think. I’ll get that out early doors.
Romesh: I found Rob very attractive in drag too.
Rob: We’ve always wanted to be sexy. We’ve never been in Weird Crush or Torso of the Week. So we wanted to be sexy and I think we finally found a way to be sexy.
Romesh: We also wanted to find out about the world of drag.
Rob: I just wanted to be sexy,
Romesh: With Rob and I in drag, it’s a very thin line between sexy and terrifying.
Rob: I would say Romesh is powerful and I’m vulnerable. Drag is used for showing off a different side of you, a bigger energetic side and flamboyant side. But as comedians we are allowed to express ourselves in our day job. So for me and Rom we enjoyed getting into the drag, but we didn’t really need the performance side of it. We would have quite liked to go out for a night in drag.
5. How are you coping in lockdown?
Rob: I’ve started walking. I could walk before obviously, I wasn’t crawling. But I live in South-East London and I own two pairs of walking boots now. What’s happened to me? I thought they were just for scout leaders and perverts.
Romesh: That Venn diagram can often overlap as well.
Rob: I have two pairs of walking boots, because the first pair are smashed in now. But I’m always off walking through the woods now. Sometimes alone, sometimes with a friend at a distance of two metres.
Romesh: I think Rob and I both found and probably lots of people that you can’t do anything constructive in these lockdowns. So you do things that are a waste of time for the sake of doing it. One thing I did, which went a bit s**t, is that I got into colouring. Rob had been talking about doing colouring and I was a bit cynical. But he said, "Honestly, you’ve got to try it".
So I got a book for me and my wife, we put on a podcast, opened a bottle of wine and did some colouring. I thought it was a zero-jeopardy way of spending an evening. Until she started commenting on how long it was taking me to colour the pictures. And suddenly she managed to inject some anxiety and competition into colouring.
Rob: I thought you were going to say it went really well and you ended up going upstairs together and you needed to thank me.
Romesh: There is no little Rob on the way.
6. How would you two cope in lockdown together?
Rob: I’d like to think we’d balance each other out. Romesh is the damp and I’m the sunny day.
Romesh: That’s a really insulting way of saying optimist and pessimist.
“I think we are quite similar underneath it all. There is no denying we have different energies. But it works. Sometimes I’ll be pissed off about something and Rob will say, "You need to cheer up for these reasons". And other times Rob will be up and I’ll say there’s no reason for you to be this happy – let’s properly assess the situation.
I do love Rob, but we had never been away together before this show and doing the show throws you together for a long period in a stressful situation. We actually agreed that there was a chance we may fall out and come to blows at some point, but we had to accept that as part of the show. But thankfully, touch wood, that hasn’t happened yet.
Rob: Yeah and considering all theatres are shut, we can’t lose this cash cow. I let him get away with murder. Once we’re all vaccinated, we’ll see!
Romesh: The show’s really good, but we’d still make it regardless at this stage because we’re desperate at this point.
Rob: It’s the best thing I’ve made. That’s the fourth time I’ve said that about a different show this week.
7. What would you write for each other’s Tinder profiles?
Rob: I think it would be, don’t believe what you hear, I don’t have a wandering eye.
Romesh: I would say, once you get past the fact he’s punchably irritating, he’s actually a nice guy.
Rob: And even if you can’t get past that, I’m great for six months.
Romesh: Oh yeah, there’s a great six-month relationship in that guy. Then just walk away happy.
Rob: I think extensive touring helps my relationship with Louise.
Romesh: Before this lockdown happened, I thought my marriage was surviving despite me being away, but I now realise it’s because of it. In lockdown, my wife has been desperately calling the BBC suggesting countries for me to f**k off to.
Rob: She’s become a Covid denier, hasn’t she?
Watch Rob and Romesh Vs series 3 on Thursdays at 10pm on Sky One with NOW TV.
Catch up on the series 1 and 2 Box Sets with the NOW TV Entertainment Pass.