Richard Leslie Vranch (born 29 June 1959, Frome, England) is a British comedian, actor and musician.
Vranch graduated from Cambridge University with a PhD in physics. While a first-year doctoral student, he joined the Footlights in 1981 and was a contemporary of Tony Slattery and Neil Mullarkey. He was a researcher at Cavendish Laboratory and a research fellow at St John's College for nine months before going into comedy full-time.
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 overall 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 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. 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.
Richard Vranch Live Interview (2014/15)
Live interview with Richard Vranch, Comedy Store Player. Recorded before a live studio audience, streamed live on Livestream, this is a collaboration between ...
Richard Vranch at the piano
Small sketch from Paul Merton Live at the Palladium.
Tony Slattery and Richard Vranch kiss (higher quality)
Three of the Tony Slattery and Richard Vranch segments from the Barf Bites Back charity video for Amnesty International. Kiss is at approximately 1:05.
Comedy Store Players in The Sitcom Trials: Re-Enactment
Neil Mullarkey, Suki Webster, Niall Ashdown and Richard Vranch of The Comedy Store Players star in The Sitcom Trials TV series 1, episode 4 ...
Whose Line Hoedown – Marital Problems
Stephen Fry, Josie Lawrence, Colin Mochrie, and Ryan Stiles, with Richard Vranch at the piano and Clive Anderson hosting. Stephen's verse is classic.
Tony Slattery kissing Richard Vranch - Barf Bites Back pt1
Part 1 of 4. Tony Slattery kissing Richard Vranch from the 1991 Amnesty video, Barf Bites Back. Sorry about the low quality, I don't know how to get VHS tapes on ...
Richard Vranch and Pippa the Ripper all in a spin over sub-atomic act
Science comedian Richard Vranch and hula hipster Pippa the Ripper on why their hula hooping sub-atomic structure act is the best in the universe. Backstage at ...
Tony Slattery and Richard Vranch - More Hysteria Too 1/2.
Part 1 of 2 Tony Slattery and Richard Vranch from the More Hysteria Too video, 1989. Apologies again for quality.
Chattoon - Neil Mullarkey, Richard Vranch, Simon Ellinas at the Comedy Store
Chattoon - the show about chatting and cartooning. Simon Ellinas draws whil Alan Stevens chats to Neil Mullarkey ad Richard Vranch of the Comedy Store ...
Tony Slattery kissing Richard Vranch - More Hysteria Too 2/2
Part 2 of 2 Tony Slattery kissing Richard Vranch again from the More Hysteria Too video 1989.
Huffington Post UK (blog)
Sun, 11 Aug 2013 05:33:45 -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 ...
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 ...
Sat, 13 Jun 2015 02:22:30 -0700
COMEDIAN Paul Merton took to the Scunthorpe Baths Hall with his impro chums for an energetic and frenetic show. Joined by fellow comics Mike McShane, Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch and Suki Webster, Paul and the gang took suggestions from the ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
The Press, York
The Press, York
Tue, 05 May 2015 02:56:15 -0700
From the start of the show at the Grand Opera House, it was clear that the gang of impro chums have a loyal following - and although the action seems entirely spontaneous there is discipline to it – Richard Vranch's musical accompaniments from opera to ...
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