Richard Osman

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Richard Osman
Osman in 2019
Richard Thomas Osman

(1970-11-28) 28 November 1970 (age 50)
Billericay, Essex, England
EducationWarden Park School
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
OccupationComedianproducertelevision presenterwriter
Years active1993–present
Known for
RelativesMat Osman (brother)

Richard Thomas Osman (born 28 November 1970) is an English comedian, producer, television presenter, writer, and the creator and co-presenter of the BBC One television quiz show Pointless.[1] He has also presented the BBC Two quiz shows Two Tribes and Richard Osman's House of Games and has been a team captain on the comedy panel shows Insert Name Here and The Fake News Show. He has gained recognition for his appearances on a wide variety of British panel shows.

Osman worked at Hat Trick Productions alongside Ben Smith before becoming creative director of the television production company Endemol UK, producing shows including Prize Island for ITV and Deal or No Deal for Channel 4. He is the writer of the 2020 novel The Thursday Murder Club.

Early life[edit]

Osman was born in Billericay, Essex, to Brenda Wright and David Osman and grew up in Haywards Heath, West Sussex. His mother is a teacher. When Osman was nine years old, his father walked out on the family, which Osman says created difficulty for the rest of his life.[2] His elder brother is musician Mat Osman, bass guitarist with the rock band Suede.[3]

Osman attended Warden Park School in Cuckfield. Whilst still at school he got his first broadcasting experience, as a regular contributor to Turn It Up, an open-access music show which went out on Sunday evenings on BBC Radio Sussex (the show was also notable for giving early broadcast experience to BBC news journalist Jane Hill and radio DJ Jo Whiley). From 1989 to 1992, he studied Politics and Sociology at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a contemporary of Pointless co-presenter Alexander Armstrong, who read English.[4][5]

Television career[edit]


Osman began his career working as executive producer on numerous British game shows, including Deal or No Deal, Channel 4 comedy panel game 8 out of 10 Cats and satirical comedy 10 O'Clock Live. He was the creative director at TV company Endemol, pitching the idea for Pointless to the BBC, becoming its co-presenter with his former university friend, Alexander Armstrong, when it launched in 2009.

He created the short-lived 2013 ITV gameshow Prize Island.[6] His other credits include Whose Line is it Anyway?, Total Wipeout and the game show 24 Hour Quiz. As a producer of Deal or No Deal, Osman was the one who revealed the identity of The Banker to be the show's producer Glenn Hugill.

Osman acted as script editor for BBC One's Total Wipeout and in 1999, created and wrote the Channel 4 sitcom Boyz Unlimited with David Walliams and Matt Lucas. In 2005, he co-created and co-wrote the animated Channel 4 sitcom Bromwell High.[7][8][9]

Osman left Endemol in 2020.[10]

Presenting and Pointless[edit]

Since 2009, Osman has co-presented the BBC One teatime quiz show Pointless with host Alexander Armstrong. He created the show where he is jokingly known as Armstrong's "pointless friend". Having previously worked exclusively in behind-the-camera roles, Osman got the job as co-presenter/assistant when he pitched the idea for the show to a panel of BBC daytime heads, taking the role of the assistant in the demonstration.[11][12]

Osman guest hosted Have I Got News for You in October 2013.[12][13] In 2014, Osman began presenting a new BBC Two quiz show called Two Tribes. A second series began airing in February 2015.[14] From October 2014, he guest-presented numerous episodes of The One Show. Beginning in 2016, he was a team captain on the BBC Two comedy panel show Insert Name Here, hosted by Sue Perkins. A second series was commissioned to begin airing in January 2017.

In February and December 2016, he presented Dragons' Den: Pitches to Riches, two special episodes which looked back over the past thirteen series of Dragons' Den on BBC Two. Since 2016, Osman has presented Child Genius on Channel 4.[15] He appeared on the telethon Red Nose Day 2017 with The World Cup of Biscuits 2017. This involved polling with Twitter to find the best British biscuit. In April 2017 he appeared in the first episode of the third series of Murder in Successville.

In 2017, Osman began hosting his show Richard Osman's House of Games. Each weekday, four panellists compete in general knowledge tests in a variety of entertaining games. Four series of the show have been made. In 2020, Osman created a spinoff show titled House of Games Night, which aired on BBC One on Friday nights.


Osman has appeared multiple times on several panel shows; Would I Lie to You?, Have I Got News for You, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, QI, and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

In 2016 he was a contestant on the second series of Taskmaster and appeared on the darts show Let's Play Darts.

Literary career[edit]

Viking Press, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House, acquired the rights to Osman's debut novel, The Thursday Murder Club, and one other novel, for a seven-figure sum in a 10-publisher auction in 2019. It was said that his first book would be published in autumn 2020, and the second the following year, as part of a classic crime series.[16] His debut crime novel's release date was announced as 3 September 2020.[17]

The Thursday Murder Club is set in a luxury retirement village in Kent where four residents gather to investigate crime cases, including a "live" murder mystery. Osman said that he was "in talks" for a TV adaptation of his novel.[18] Osman confirmed that Steven Spielberg had acquired the book's film rights.[19]

Other work[edit]

Osman presented The Birthday Game podcast.[20] Since 2021 he has featured in podcast adverts for premium ready meal brand Charlie Bigham's.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Osman was born with nystagmus, an eye condition that significantly reduces his vision.[22] He learns his scripts by heart as his condition makes it difficult to read an autocue.[23]

Osman has two children, Ruby and Sonny, aged 17 and 19 years as of 2020.[24]

As of 2020, Osman resides in a bachelor pad in Chiswick, West London.[25]

Osman is a season ticket holder at Fulham F.C.[26]

On 6 December 2011, Osman became an "unlikely heartthrob" after winning Heat's "Weirdest Crush Award".[27]

Television work[edit]

Production credits[edit]

Year Title Role Channel Notes
1995 Whose Line Is It Anyway? Programme associate Channel 4 12 episodes
1998–1999 If I Ruled the World Creator, producer BBC Two 2 series
1999 Boyz Unlimited Co-creator (with David Walliams and Matt Lucas) Channel 4 6 episodes
2001 The Adam and Joe Show Additional material 3 episodes
2004 Ban This Filth Executive producer 6 episodes
2005 Bromwell High Writer 12 episodes
2005–2017 8 Out of 10 Cats Executive producer (41 episodes)
Edit producer (1 episode)
42 episodes
2009–2010 You Have Been Watching Executive producer 15 episodes
2009–2011 Total Wipeout Script editor (36 episodes)
Programme associate (9 episodes)
BBC One 45 episodes
2010 Channel 4's Alternative Election Night Executive producer Channel 4 One-off programme
2011–2013 10 O'Clock Live 33 episodes
2012–2018 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown 16 series
2013 Prize Island Creator ITV 1 series
2014–2016 Only Connect Additional questions BBC Two 5 episodes

Presenting roles[edit]

Year Title Role Channel Notes
2009– Pointless Co-presenter BBC One (2011– )
BBC Two (2009–11)
22 series
2011– Pointless Celebrities BBC One 12 series
2014– The One Show Guest presenter 7 episodes
2014–2015 Two Tribes Presenter BBC Two 2 series
2016 Dragons' Den: Pitches to Riches 2 episodes
2016– Child Genius Channel 4 Series 4–
2017 The Nightly Show Celebrity host ITV 1 episode
Channel 4's Alternative Election Night Co-presenter Channel 4 One-off programme
2017– Richard Osman's House of Games Presenter BBC Two 4 series
2018 Re-Play 2018 with Richard Osman ITV One-off programme
2020 Richard Osman's House of Games Night[28] BBC One 1 series

Non-presenting appearances[edit]

Year Title Role Channel Notes
2012–2016 Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two Panellist BBC Two 3 episodes
2012–2019 Have I Got News for You Guest panellist BBC One Numerous episodes
Would I Lie to You? Guest 7 episodes
2013 The Big Fat Quiz of the Year Himself Channel 4 TV special
2013–2017 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Contestant 5 episodes
2013 QI Guest BBC Two 4 episodes
2014 Not Going Out Himself/cameo role BBC One 1 episode: "Pointless"
Room 101 Guest 1 episode
2014 World Snooker Championship Special guest (1 episode)
Potless presenter (3 episodes)
BBC Two 4 episodes
2015 2015 World Snooker Championship Celebrity predictions (1 episode)
Celebrity player (1 episode)
2 episodes
Let's Play Darts Participant/commentator BBC Two Charity series
Danger Mouse Professor Strontium Jellyfishowitz CBBC Voice only
Celebrity Juice Guest ITV2 3 episodes
8 Out of 10 Cats Channel 4 1 episode
2015–2017 Loose Women ITV 3 episodes
2016 Play to the Whistle Himself 1 episode
Duck Quacks Don't Echo Guest Sky One 1 episode
Taskmaster Contestant Dave Series 2
Eurovision Song Contest 2016 UK spokesperson BBC One, EBU Annual programme
2016–2020 The Last Leg Guest Channel 4 6 episodes
2016– Insert Name Here Team captain BBC Two 3 series
2017 The Fake News Show Channel 4 1 series
Dara O Briain's Go 8 Bit Contestant Dave 1 episode
2017–2020 Sunday Brunch Guest Channel 4 2 episodes
2018 Frankie Boyle's New World Order Guest BBC Two 1 episode
2019 Catchphrase Celebrity contestant ITV 1 episode
The Ranganation Guest BBC Two 1 episode
Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier Himself Dave 1 episode
2020 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Celebrity contestant ITV 1 episode
The Graham Norton Show Himself BBC One 1 episode
Saturday Kitchen Live Guest BBC One 1 episode


  • Osman, Richard; Armstrong, Alexander (2012). The 100 Most Pointless Things in the World. Coronet. ISBN 978-1-4447-6205-1.
  • Osman, Richard; Armstrong, Alexander (2013). The 100 Most Pointless Arguments in the World. Coronet. ISBN 978-1-4447-6208-2.
  • Osman, Richard; Armstrong, Alexander (2014). The Very Pointless Quiz Book. Coronet. ISBN 978-1-4447-8274-5.
  • Osman, Richard; Armstrong, Alexander (2015). The A-Z of Pointless. Coronet. ISBN 978-1-4447-8277-6.
  • Osman, Richard; Armstrong, Alexander (2016). A Pointless History of the World. Coronet. ISBN 978-1-4736-2324-8.
  • Osman, Richard (2017). The World Cup Of Everything: Bringing the Fun Home. Coronet. ISBN 978-1-4736-6726-6.
  • Osman, Richard; Connor, Alan (2019). Richard Osman's House of Games. BBC Books. ISBN 978-1-78594-462-8.



  1. ^ "Endemol UK – Pointless". Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  2. ^ McPhee, Rod (13 August 2014). "Pointless star Richard Osman reveals childhood agony that haunted him for decades". mirror. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  3. ^ Dessau, Bruce (2 March 2013). "10 Questions for Suede's Brett Anderson & Mat Osman". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  4. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (10 March 2012). "Pedigree chum: Is Alexander Armstrong the poshest man in comedy?". The Independent. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Richard Osman: Alexander Armstrong is cleverer than me but he's a bit posh". Metro. 23 October 2012.
  6. ^ Eames, Tom (25 June 2013). "Emma Willis show 'Prize Island' to be axed by ITV?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  7. ^ "'Total Wipeout' (2009) Overview". IMDb. 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Boyz Unlimited (TV Series 1999–) Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Bromwell High (TV Series 2005–)". IMDb. 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  10. ^ Osman, Richard [@richardosman] (21 December 2020). "I've worked at Endemol since I was 29, but it's time for me to move on. Will still be doing Pointless/House Of Games & working with brilliant people there. But also looking forward to creating new shows with new people. It's been a wonderful 20 years, and I will miss it very much" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ Meltzer, Tom (4 June 2013). "Pointless: Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman on TV's favourite quiz". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  12. ^ a b Osman, Richard (6 July 2011). "Pointless: How I became the co-host". BBC.
  13. ^ "BBC Daytime re-commissions Pointless". BBC Press Office. 6 October 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  14. ^ Wightman, Catriona (23 April 2014). "Pointless star Richard Osman to host new BBC quiz show Two Tribes". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  15. ^ Sam Warner (1 March 2016). "Richard Osman is hosting the new series of Channel 4's Child Genius". Digital Spy.
  16. ^ "Richard Osman's fiction debut scooped by Viking for seven figures in 10-way auction | The Bookseller". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  17. ^ Thomas, Rebecca (27 August 2020). "Richard Osman: 'I wish I were cooler but I'm not'". BBC News. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  18. ^ Barnett, David (23 May 2019). "Richard Osman lands 'seven-figure' deal for crime novel written in secret". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  19. ^ McLennan, Patrick (27 August 2020). "Pointless star Richard Osman says Steven Spielberg is making a film of his Thursday Murder Club novel". Radio Times. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  20. ^ Osman, Richard [@richardosman] (2 September 2019). "'The Birthday Game' is now available wherever you get your podcasts! It's a funny, very silly podcast that everybody can play along with. New episode every Monday. This week's players are ⁦@rickedwards1⁩ ⁦@phlaimeaux⁩ and ⁦@MaisieAdam⁩" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  21. ^ "Charlie Bigham's launches £3m multimedia spring ad campaign". betterRetailing. 13 April 2021. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  22. ^ Osman, Richard (11 October 2013). "And for anyone asking, I promise I wasn't shaking. I have a condition called nystagmus which makes my eyes constantly flicker". @richardosman. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  23. ^ "Richard Osman reveals the secrets of Pointless". Radio Times. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  24. ^ BBC Radio 5 live afternoon show 12 June 2020
  25. ^ "Richard Osman: "We are obsessed with young people"". 8 September 2020.
  26. ^ Lawrenson, Mark (17 March 2013). "Mark Lawrenson's Premier League predictions". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  27. ^ "'Pointless' Co-Presenter Richard Osman Named 2011's Top Weird Crush". HuffPost. 6 December 2011.
  28. ^ "Richard Osman's House of Games Night, Series 1, Episode 1". BBC.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Paul Sinha
BBC Radio Five Live
Fighting Talk Champion of Champions

2016/17 and 2017/18
Succeeded by
Martin Kelner