Richard Osman

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Richard Osman
Osman in June 2022
Richard Thomas Osman

(1970-11-28) 28 November 1970 (age 53)
Essex, England
EducationTrinity College, Cambridge (BA)
OccupationComedianproducertelevision presenternovelist
Years active1993–present
Known for
Notable workThursday Murder Club series
(m. 2022)
RelativesMat Osman (brother)

Richard Thomas Osman (born 28 November 1970) is an English author, television presenter, producer, novelist, and comedian. He is the creator and former co-presenter of the BBC One television quiz show Pointless.[1] He has presented the BBC Two quiz shows Two Tribes and Richard Osman's House of Games, and been a team captain on the comedy panel shows Insert Name Here and The Fake News Show. He has made appearances on British panel shows including Would I Lie To You? and QI.

Osman worked at Hat Trick Productions 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 author of the bestselling crime novels The Thursday Murder Club (2020), The Man Who Died Twice (2021), The Bullet That Missed (2022) and The Last Devil To Die (2023).

Early life[edit]

Richard Thomas Osman was born on 28 November 1970 in Billericay, Essex, to Brenda Wright and David Osman, and grew up in Cuckfield near Haywards Heath, West Sussex. When he was nine years old, his father walked out on the family, which Osman says created difficulty for the rest of his life. His mother attended teacher training college and found making money to support her family a struggle.[2] His older brother is the musician Mat Osman, bass guitarist with the rock band Suede.[3]

Osman attended Warden Park School in Cuckfield.[4] While still at school, he gained 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.[5][6]

Television career[edit]


Osman worked as executive producer on British game shows, including 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 UK, pitching the idea for Pointless to the BBC, becoming its co-presenter with his former university friend Alexander Armstrong, when it launched in 2009.

Osman created the short-lived 2013 ITV gameshow Prize Island.[7] His other credits include Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Total Wipeout and the game show 24 Hour Quiz.

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.[8][9][10]

Osman left Endemol in 2020.[11]

Presenting and Pointless[edit]

From 2009 until 2022, Osman 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.[12][13]

Osman guest hosted Have I Got News for You in October 2013.[13][14] In 2014, he began presenting a new BBC Two quiz show called Two Tribes. A second series began airing in February 2015.[15] From October 2014, he guest-presented 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.[16] 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, he began hosting his show Richard Osman's House of Games. Each weekday, four panelists compete in general knowledge tests in a variety of entertaining games. Six series of the show have been made. In 2020, Osman created a spin-off show titled House of Games Night, which aired on BBC One on Friday nights.

On 8 April 2022, Osman announced he would be leaving Pointless, after 1,300 episodes across 30 series. After his The Thursday Murder Club series received critical acclaim, he wished to spend more time as an author. He is, however, continuing to appear on the spin-off Pointless Celebrities. In a statement, he said, "Pointless has been a joy from start to finish, working alongside my friend Alexander Armstrong, backed by the most wonderful team, and for the best viewers in the world. I will miss everyone so much, but I'm thrilled I'll still be presenting the celebrity shows. I can't thank everyone enough for 12 amazing years." He was replaced by a rotating series of guest presenters. His co-host Armstrong said, "Daytime television's loss is international best-selling crime fiction's gain. I say that like it's a consolation - I'm going to miss the big man next to me Monday to Friday. But at least I still get him at weekends - and weekdays if you're watching on Challenge".[17]

In November 2023, Osman began hosting a podcast, The Rest Is Entertainment, with Marina Hyde.[18]


Osman has appeared on the panel shows Would I Lie to You?, Have I Got News for You, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, The Unbelievable Truth, 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]

Richard Osman at Bloody Scotland, an international crime writing festival, in 2019

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 crime series.[19] His debut crime novel's release date was announced as 3 September 2020.[20]

The Thursday Murder Club series 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.[21] He later confirmed that Steven Spielberg had acquired the book's film rights.[22] The book has sold well over one million copies in the UK, and sold 45,000 UK hardback copies in the first three days after publication.[23]

The first novel in the series was followed by The Man Who Died Twice in 2021, The Bullet That Missed in 2022,[24][25] and The Last Devil To Die in 2023;[26][27] the latter reached number-one on the New York Times Best Seller list.[28] A fifth book is planned for release in 2025.[29]

Osman's upcoming book, We Solve Murders, will be the first in a new series. It is due to release in September 2024.[30]

Other work[edit]

Osman presented The Birthday Game podcast.[31] Since 2021, he has featured in podcast adverts for premium ready-meal brand Charlie Bigham's.[32]

In December 2021, Osman was the guest for BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. His choices included "American Boy" by Estelle with Kanye West and "A Little Respect" by Erasure, with his favourite "You Can't Stop the Beat" by the cast of Hairspray.

He revealed that he has had a food addiction since childhood and said that he had therapy for the disorder, but believed that it would be lifelong.[33][34]

On 9 June 2022, Osman was the subject of the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? in which he discovered that a distant relative had been involved in a celebrated Victorian murder case.[35][36][37]

Personal life[edit]

Osman was born with nystagmus, an eye condition that significantly reduces his vision.[38] He learns his scripts by heart as his condition makes it difficult to read an autocue.[39]

Osman has two children from his first marriage, which ended in divorce.[40][34] On 3 December 2022 he married British actress Ingrid Oliver, whom he met when she was a contestant on Richard Osman's House Of Games.[41] He lives in Chiswick, West London.[42][43] He is a season ticket holder at Fulham F.C..[44]

On 6 December 2011, Osman became an "unlikely heartthrob" after winning Heat's "Weirdest Crush Award".[45]

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
2009–2022 Pointless Co-presenter BBC One (2011–2022)
BBC Two (2009–2011)
27 series
2011– Pointless Celebrities BBC One 13 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 5 series
2018 Re-Play 2018 with Richard Osman ITV One-off programme
2020 Richard Osman's House of Games Night [46] BBC One 2 series

Non-presenting appearances[edit]

Year Title Role Channel Notes
2012–2016 Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two Panellist BBC Two 3 episodes
2012–2022 Have I Got News for You Guest panellist BBC One 15 episodes plus four highlights specials
2012–2019 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 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
2016–2020 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
Murder in Successville Himself BBC Three 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 1 episode
Anthony Himself TV film[47]
2022 Who Do You Think You Are? Himself 1 episode - Shown on 10 June 2022
Saturday Kitchen Himself 1 episode - Shown on 18 September 2022[48]
Celebrity Antiques Road Trip Celebrity contestant BBC Two 1 episode - Shown on 28 December 2022[49]
2023 Have I Got News For You Guest panellist BBC One 1 episode - Shown on 21 April 2023[50]



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


Year Title Publisher ISBN Notes
2020 The Thursday Murder Club Viking 978-0-241-42544-2 1st in the Thursday Murder Club series
2021 The Man Who Died Twice 978-0-241-42542-8 2nd in the Thursday Murder Club series
2022 The Bullet That Missed 978-0-241-51243-2 3rd in the Thursday Murder Club series
2023 The Last Devil To Die 978-0-241-51244-9 4th in the Thursday Murder Club series
2024 We Solve Murders 978-0-593-65322-7 1st in the We Solve Murders series


  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. We never had any money or a car. I'm the most middle class man in Britain now, but I was never brought up with houses and foreign holidays. It must have been so hard for mum, raising us on no money.
  3. ^ Dessau, Bruce (2 March 2013). "10 Questions for Suede's Brett Anderson & Mat Osman". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  4. ^ "TV star Richard Osman reveals shock and pride while growing up in Mid Sussex".
  5. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (10 March 2012). "Pedigree chum: Is Alexander Armstrong the poshest man in comedy?". The Independent. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Richard Osman: Alexander Armstrong is cleverer than me but he's a bit posh". Metro. 23 October 2012.
  7. ^ Eames, Tom (25 June 2013). "Emma Willis show 'Prize Island' to be axed by ITV?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  8. ^ "'Total Wipeout' (2009) Overview". IMDb. 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Boyz Unlimited (TV Series 1999–) Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Bromwell High (TV Series 2005–)". IMDb. 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  11. ^ 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). Archived from the original on 23 December 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2022 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Meltzer, Tom (4 June 2013). "Pointless: Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman on TV's favourite quiz". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  13. ^ a b Osman, Richard (6 July 2011). "Pointless: How I became the co-host". BBC.
  14. ^ "BBC Daytime re-commissions Pointless". BBC Press Office. 6 October 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  15. ^ Wightman, Catriona (23 April 2014). "Pointless star Richard Osman to host new BBC quiz show Two Tribes". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  16. ^ Sam Warner (1 March 2016). "Richard Osman is hosting the new series of Channel 4's Child Genius". Digital Spy.
  17. ^ "Richard Osman: Pointless star quits BBC quiz show". BBC News. 8 April 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  18. ^ "The Rest Is Entertainment". Goalhanger Podcasts. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  19. ^ "Richard Osman's fiction debut scooped by Viking for seven figures in 10-way auction". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  20. ^ Thomas, Rebecca (27 August 2020). "Richard Osman: 'I wish I were cooler but I'm not'". BBC News. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  21. ^ Barnett, David (23 May 2019). "Richard Osman lands 'seven-figure' deal for crime novel written in secret". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ The Bestseller Awards [@BestsellerAwrds] (17 March 2021). "Congratulations to Platinum Bestseller @richardosman for his debut #TheThursdayMurderClub published by @VikingBooksUK in 2020 - the only book to reach 1 million+ UK sales in the same year!🎉 "More than anything, a big thank you to all the booksellers up and down the country"👏" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 17 March 2021. Retrieved 4 September 2021 – via Twitter.
  24. ^ Osman, Richard (15 September 2022). The Bullet That Missed. ASIN 0241512425.
  25. ^ Flood, Alison (4 September 2022). "The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman review –sleuthing sequel hits the bullseye". The Observer. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  26. ^ Osman, Richard (24 May 2023). "The Last Devil To Die". Penguin Random House. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  27. ^ Redmond, Moira (5 September 2023). "Ignore the snobs - Richard Osman is the rightful king of crime". Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  28. ^ "Best Sellers - Books - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  29. ^ Knight, Lucy (20 February 2024). "Richard Osman to publish first novel in new crime series". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 24 February 2024. Retrieved 27 February 2024.
  30. ^ Knight, Lucy (21 February 2024). "Richard Osman: Richard Osman to publish first novel in new crime series". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 February 2024.
  31. ^ 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). Archived from the original on 12 September 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2022 – via Twitter.
  32. ^ "Charlie Bigham's launches £3m multimedia spring ad campaign". betterRetailing. 13 April 2021. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  33. ^ "Richard Osman opens up to Desert Island Discs about food addiction". BBC News. 26 December 2021. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  34. ^ a b "Richard Osman, writer and broadcaster". Desert Island Discs. BBC. 26 December 2021. BBC Radio 4.
  35. ^ "Who do You Think You Are? - Series 19: 2. Richard Osman".
  36. ^ Singh, Anita (9 June 2022). "Who Do You Think You Are? review: Richard Osman explores his convenient family history". The Daily Telegraph.
  37. ^ "Richard Osman on Who Do You Think You Are?: Everything you need to know". Who Do You Think You Are Magazine.
  38. ^ Osman, Richard [@richardosman] (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" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 4 September 2021. Retrieved 13 December 2022 – via Twitter.
  39. ^ "Richard Osman reveals the secrets of Pointless". Radio Times. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  40. ^ Edwardes, Charlotte (9 September 2023). "Richard Osman: 'I would have been terrible in MI6. I'm too tall, spill secrets and can't lie'". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  41. ^ Osman, Richard [@richardosman] (5 December 2022). "The most magical, joyful day on Saturday with my beautiful wife @ingridoliver100. Surrounded by wonderful friends and family, a day full of love and laughter. We're so, so happy ❤️❤️❤️" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 7 December 2022. Retrieved 13 December 2022 – via Twitter.
  42. ^ "Richard Osman: "We are obsessed with young people"". RTÉ.ie. 8 September 2020.
  43. ^ Clark, Alex (4 September 2021). "Richard Osman: 'No one's born a crime writer. I write crime because I read it'". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  44. ^ Lawrenson, Mark (17 March 2013). "Mark Lawrenson's Premier League predictions". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  45. ^ "'Pointless' Co-Presenter Richard Osman Named 2011's Top Weird Crush". HuffPost. 6 December 2011.
  46. ^ "Richard Osman's House of Games Night, Series 1, episode 1". BBC.
  47. ^ "Anthony (TV Movie 2020)". IMDb. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  48. ^ "Saturday Kitchen". Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  49. ^ "Celebrity Antiques Road Trip". Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  50. ^ "Have I Got News For You". Retrieved 20 April 2023.

External links[edit]

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