Richard Thomas Osman (born 28 November 1970) is an English comedian, producer, television presenter and novelist. 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.
Presenting and Pointless
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 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 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 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.
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. As of December 2021 he is in a relationship with British actress and comic Ingrid Oliver. He lives 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.
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