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Richard Vranch
Born Richard Leslie Vranch
(1959-06-29) 29 June 1959 (age 56)
Frome, England, UK
Nationality UK
Occupation Comedian, actor, musician
Website Official website

Richard Leslie Vranch (born 29 June 1959, Frome, England) is an English actor, comedian, and musician.

Early life[edit]

Vranch graduated from Cambridge University with a PhD in physics.[1] While a first-year doctoral student, he joined the Footlights in 1981 and was a contemporary of Tony Slattery and Neil Mullarkey.[2] He was a researcher at the Cavendish Laboratory and a research fellow at St John's College for nine months before going into comedy full-time.[3]


Vranch improvises comedy on stage with the Comedy Store Players every Wednesday and Sunday at The Comedy Store in London. He has voiced British Airways TV and radio commercials since 2003, and he narrates TV documentaries. He has performed since 1979, and formed a comedy double-act with Tony Slattery in 1981. The duo hosted the Channel 4 quiz The Music Game and over 100 episodes of Cue The Music on ITV. He was the improvising pianist and guitarist on the original British television show Whose Line Is It Anyway? in 1988, but only a small proportion of his work is musical. Vranch co-wrote and performed in The Paul Merton Show at the London Palladium in 1994.

Acting work includes Dogman, The Dead Set, and sketch shows touring the world from Mexico to the Palestinian Territories. He has improvised comedy in the Middle East, Far East and India - 30 countries in all. He has written for stage, radio and TV, and made several animated films with artist Lucy Allen. They have had their cartoons published in Maxim, Punch, and The Spectator.

He presented the children's shows Let's Pretend on ITV and Jackanory on BBC One, and was a contestant on a charity special of The Weakest Link in 2005. He guested on BBC Radio 4's long-running panel game Just a Minute in 1999. In 2002 he was commissioned by Tamasha Theatre (East is East) as a writer for their show Ryman and the Sheik and he still works as an Artistic Associate of the company, linked below.

Vranch had a previous career as a research physicist, and has appeared on the panel shows Puzzle Panel and The Infinite Monkey Cage[4] on Radio 4 and Mind Games on BBC TV.

Vranch hosted his own science series, Beat That Einstein, on Channel 4 in 1994, and has published papers in scientific journals. He discussed the switch-on of the Large Hadron Collider in September 2008 with Jeremy Vine and Simon Singh on BBC Radio 2.[citation needed]

In 2006 he appeared at the Ars Nova theatre, New York. He is currently appearing in his improvised storytelling group The YarnBards and developing a new show for the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2012, with others he toured and supported Paul Merton for Merton's programme, Out Of My Head.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Interview, livingonfascination.com, 15 June 2014; accessed 15 December 2015.
  2. ^ Footlights Alumni - 1980-1989
  3. ^ "I never wanted to be a pianist anyway". Cambridge News. 8 September 2005. 
  4. ^ "The Infinite Monkey Cage, Series 6, Episode 5". Retrieved 5 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Vranch — Please support Wikipedia.
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119 news items

Huffington Post UK (blog)

Huffington Post UK (blog)
Sun, 11 Aug 2013 05:43:41 -0700

I've performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe almost every year since 1979. The biggest arts festival in the world has given me a platform to write and act in plays, sketch shows, a one-man show, children's shows, a risque dance act, verbatim theatre ...
Fri, 29 Sep 2006 23:26:31 -0700

Improviser Richard Vranch is a Comedy Store Player, one of Paul Merton's Impro Chums, a Steve Frost Impro Allstar and co-founder of The YarnBards, improvised storytelling troupe. In 2004, he celebrated 25 years at the Edinburgh Fringe; first performing ...

The Press, York

The Press, York
Mon, 03 Aug 2015 10:53:50 -0700

Lee Simpson is a master of vocal and physical characterisation; Richard Vranch switches nimbly from cheeky interventions to the keyboard for myriad musical accompaniments; Suki Webster is the most unpredictable, full of teasing too, more assertive than ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Tue, 23 Jun 2015 04:36:15 -0700

It is striking to see impro, for so long the runt of the entertainment litter, cheered in a West End theatre. This Whose Line Is It Anyway? revival follows on from Clive Anderson and co's performances at last year's Edinburgh fringe. The live version ...

Herald Scotland

Herald Scotland
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 00:46:54 -0700

The Impro Chums, aka Merton, his wife Suki Webster, Lee Simpson, Mike McShane and Richard Vranch, made their Fringe debut in 2004. The group formed after an Indian entrepreneur went to Edinburgh in search of an act that could perform in his hotels.

Doctor Who UK Webzine

Doctor Who UK Webzine
Thu, 10 Dec 2015 12:03:45 -0800

With Benny doing research at the Braxiatel Collection, the Doctor and Ace head straight into an interplanetary war… The story also stars Miles Richardson as Irving Braxiatel, Kirsty Besterman as Lannic, Richard Vranch as Gilmanuk, Ed Stoppard as ...

Reading Post

Reading Post
Mon, 19 Jan 2015 08:41:19 -0800

Paul, along with Mike McShane, Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch and Suki Webster, will take audience suggestions and (hopefully) create cascades of tumbling laughter. And because it's improv every show is a new and uncertain adventure. If some of Paul's ...


Sun, 29 Nov 2015 07:22:30 -0800

The Have I Got News For You star joins his improv chums Lee Simpson, Paul Richard Vranch and Suki Webster for the new format The Guest Speaker, in which the comedians must make up a speech on the fly. It's at The Miller near London Bridge station.

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