Richard Osman

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Richard Osman
Richard Thomas Osman

(1970-11-28) 28 November 1970 (age 49)
Billericay, Essex, England
EducationWarden Park School
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
OccupationTelevision presenter • producer • comedian • director • novelist
Years activeEarly 1990s–present
Home townHaywards Heath, West Sussex, England
Height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)[1]
Two Tribes
Insert Name Here
Child Genius
The Fake News Show
Richard Osman's House of Games
TitleCreative Director of Endemol Shine UK
RelativesMat Osman

Richard Thomas Osman (born 28 November 1970) is an English television presenter, producer, director and novelist, best known for being the creator and co-presenter of the BBC One television quiz show Pointless.[2] 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. Osman has gained recognition for his appearances on a wide variety of British panel shows.

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.

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.[3] Osman's older brother is musician Mat Osman.[4] 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 every Sunday evening 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). Between 1989 and 1992, Osman studied Politics and Sociology at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a contemporary of Pointless co-presenter Alexander Armstrong, who read English Literature.[5][6]

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 created the short-lived 2013 ITV gameshow Prize Island.[7] Osman's 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, Osman co-created and co-wrote the animated Channel 4 sitcom Bromwell High.[8][9][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][14]

In 2014, Osman began presenting a new BBC Two quiz show called Two Tribes. A second series began airing in February 2015.[15]

Since October 2014, Osman guest-presented numerous episodes of The One Show. Since 2016, Osman has been 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, Osman 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]

Osman 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. The chocolate digestive won.[17]

In April 2017 Osman 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. On five days each week four panellists compete in general knowledge tests in a variety of entertaining games. The overall winner is crowned on Friday. Three series of the show have been made.


Osman has appeared multiple times on Would I Lie to You?. He has appeared as a panelist seven times on Have I Got News for You: in December 2012, April 2013, April 2014, October 2015, December 2017, April 2018 and May 2019. He has also been a guest on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue six times: twice in Series 66 2016, twice in Series 70 2018 and twice in Series 71 2019. He has appeared several times as a guest on QI.

In 2016 he was a contestant on the second series of Taskmaster, hosted by fellow TV presenter Greg Davies.

Osman is a regular on the darts show Let's Play Darts.

He presents The Birthday Game podcast.[18]

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. Osman's first book will be published in autumn 2020, and the second the following year, as part of a classic crime series.[19]

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 the novel.[20]

Personal life[edit]

In 2012 Richard created, organised and hosted the World Cup of Crisps making Frazzles the champion.

Osman is a season ticket holder at Fulham FC.[21]

Osman was born with nystagmus, an eye condition that significantly reduces his vision.[22]

On 6 December 2011, Osman became an 'unlikely heartthrob' after winning Heat's 'Weirdest Crush Award'.[23]

Television work[edit]

Production credits[edit]

Year Title Role Channel Notes
1995 Whose Line Is It Anyway? Program 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)

Program 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 Co-presenter BBC One 12 series
2014– The One Show Guest presenter BBC One 7 episodes
2014–2015 Two Tribes Presenter BBC Two 2 series
2016 Dragons' Den: Pitches to Riches Presenter BBC Two 2 episodes
2016– Child Genius Presenter 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[24] Presenter BBC Two 3 series
2018 Re-Play 2018 with Richard Osman Presenter ITV One-off programme

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
2016–2017 The Last Leg Guest Channel 4 3 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
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


  • Osman, Richard; Armstrong, Alexander (2012). The 100 Most Pointless Things in the World. Coronet. ISBN 9781444762051.
  • Osman, Richard; Armstrong, Alexander (2013). The 100 Most Pointless Arguments in the World. Coronet. ISBN 9781444762082.
  • Osman, Richard; Armstrong, Alexander (2014). The Very Pointless Quiz Book. Coronet. ISBN 9781444782745.
  • Osman, Richard; Armstrong, Alexander (2015). The A-Z of Pointless. Coronet. ISBN 9781444782776.
  • Osman, Richard; Armstrong, Alexander (2016). A Pointless History of the World. Coronet. ISBN 9781473623248.
  • Osman, Richard (2017). The World Cup Of Everything: Bringing the Fun Home. Coronet. ISBN 9781473667266.
  • Osman, Richard; Connor, Alan (2019). Richard Osman's House of Games. BBC Books. ISBN 978-1785944628.



  1. ^ Graham, Alison (10 June 2013). "Pointless star Richard Osman on the show that made him a TV heart-throb". Radio Times. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Endemol UK – Pointless". Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  3. ^ McPhee, Rod (13 August 2014). "Pointless star Richard Osman reveals childhood agony that haunted him for decades". mirror. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  4. ^ Dessau, Bruce (2 March 2013). "10 Questions for Suede's Brett Anderson & Mat Osman". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  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. ^ 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. ^ "Richard Osman". IMDb. 2015. 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 [@richardosman] (25 March 2017). "And, of course, congratulations to our winner, the Chocolate Digestive! #wcob" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Osman, Richard (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 …". @richardosman. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  19. ^ "Richard Osman's fiction debut scooped by Viking for seven figures in 10-way auction | The Bookseller". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  20. ^ Barnett, David (23 May 2019). "Richard Osman lands 'seven-figure' deal for crime novel written in secret". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  21. ^ Lawrenson, Mark (17 March 2013). "Mark Lawrenson's Premier League predictions". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  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. ^ "'Pointless' Co-Presenter Richard Osman Named 2011's Top Weird Crush". HuffPost. 6 December 2011.
  24. ^ "Richard Osman's new quiz show House of Games revealed". Digital Spy. 18 June 2017.

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