Richard Thomas Osman
28 November 1970
|Education||Warden Park School|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Occupation||Comedian • producer • television presenter • novelist|
|Height||2.0 m (6 ft 7 in)|
|Relatives||Mat Osman (brother)|
Richard Thomas Osman (born 28 November 1970) is an English television presenter, producer, novelist and comedian. He is the creator and co-presenter of the BBC One television quiz show Pointless. He has presented the BBC Two quiz shows Two Tribes and Richard Osman's House of Games and served as a team captain on the comedy panel shows Insert Name Here and The Fake News Show. He has made appearances on many 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 author of the crime novels The Thursday Murder Club (2020) and The Man Who Died Twice (2021).
Osman was born in Billericay, Essex, to Brenda Wright and David Osman, and grew up in Cuckfield near Haywards Heath, West Sussex. When Osman was nine years old, his father walked out on the family, which Osman says has created difficulty for the rest of his life. His mother went to teacher training college, but before getting a full-time job, making money to raise her two children was a challenge. His elder brother is musician Mat Osman, bass guitarist with the rock band Suede.
Osman attended Warden Park School in Cuckfield. 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.
Osman began his career working as executive producer on 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 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.
He created the short-lived 2013 ITV gameshow Prize Island. 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, it was Osman 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.
Osman left Endemol in 2020.
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.
Osman guest hosted Have I Got News for You in October 2013. In 2014, Osman began presenting a new BBC Two quiz show called Two Tribes. A second series began airing in February 2015. 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. 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 panelists compete in general knowledge tests in a variety of entertaining games. Four 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 will be replaced by a series of guest presenters throughout the year, with a permanent successor being chosen later in 2022. 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".
Osman has made appearances on many panel shows, including 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.
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. His debut crime novel's release date was announced as 3 September 2020.
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. Osman later confirmed that Steven Spielberg had acquired the book's film rights. 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.
Osman's second crime novel, The Man Who Died Twice, was published in 2021.
Osman has stated that this series will contain four novels.
Osman presented The Birthday Game podcast. Since 2021, he has featured in podcast adverts for premium ready meal brand Charlie Bigham's.
On 9 June 2022 Osman was the subject of BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? He discovered that, through his maternal line, his four-times-great-grandfather Gabriel Gillham, a fisherman, had been involved in the discovery of a woman's remains and the subsequent 1831 murder trial of her husband Jon Holloway, in the Assizes at Lewes.
Osman was born with nystagmus, an eye condition that significantly reduces his vision. He learns his scripts by heart as his condition makes it difficult to read an autocue.
Osman has two children from a former relationship, aged 23 and 21 years as of 2021[update]. As of December 2021 he is in a relationship with British actress Ingrid Oliver. He resides in Chiswick, West London. He is a season ticket holder at Fulham F.C.
On 6 December 2011, Osman became an "unlikely heartthrob" after winning Heat's "Weirdest Crush Award".
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.
|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)
|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|
|2009–2022||Pointless||Co-presenter||BBC One (2011– )
BBC Two (2009–11)
|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||BBC One||2 series|
|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)
|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|
|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||1 episode|
|2022||Who Do You Think You Are?||Himself||1 episode - Shown on 10 June 2022|
|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|
|2020||The Thursday Murder Club||Viking||978-0-241-42544-2|
|2021||The Man Who Died Twice||978-0-241-42542-8|
|2022||The Bullet That Missed||978-0-241-51243-2|
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.