Richard Osman: books, wife and children

Find out more about the Pointless presenters life and beloved crime books

Richard Osman

by Alison James |

He’s most well known for co-hosting the television quiz show, Pointless, on BBC One alongside Alexander Armstrong, but more recently Richard Osman has become a successful crime novelist. Here’s everything you need to know about him, including his new and upcoming novels, who he’s currently dating and how many children he has.

Richard steps down from Pointless

After 13 years presenting pointless with Alexander Armstrong, the 51-year-old presenter has decided to walk away from the long-running quiz as he's planning to focus more of his attention on his writing career.

The good news is that he'll still be hosting the very popular game show, House of Games, but the BBC have not yet announced who will be taking over his role on Pointless.

Richard Osman book

Here’s everything you need to know about Richard Osman’s best-selling novels, as well as a new one on the way…

The Thursday Murder Club

Richard’s debut novel, which was published in September 2020, became one of the fastest selling books on record and sold 45,000 copies in its first three days!

“I was inspired to write it when I went to visit the mother of a friend who lives in a retirement village,” he explains. “It was a very beautiful place and it may sound weird but I thought what a great setting it would be for a murder mystery! I also met some of the people who lived there and discovered they’d had the most fascinating life experiences. I figured that if there was a murder in their community, that lot would solve it.

“I went home and started writing that night. I wanted to finish it before I showed it to anyone. I didn’t want that whole thing of being someone on telly who approaches a publisher, saying they want to write a book. I wanted to write something to be proud of and feel able to look people in the whites of their eyes and say, ‘This a real novel.’”

It’s even been picked up by Steven Spielberg’s film company.

“Yes, it’s been optioned,” Richard says modestly. “I’m very chuffed about that. I mean, Spielberg’s not an idiot, is he? He wouldn’t have optioned it if it wasn’t up to much. I’m also delighted that the book has been picked up in places like the US, Germany and France as well as the UK.”

The Man Who Died Twice

Osman’s second novel hit shelves last year and, again, it was another huge success, becoming one of the fastest selling novels since records began. A sequel to the Thursday Murder Club, the story follows Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron on the hunt for a ruthless murderer, after Elizabeth recieves a letter from an old colleague.

Thursday Murder Club Book 3

Yes, Richard Osman is bringing out another book featuring the Thursday Murder Club! An exact date for the novel hasn’t been released, but publishing house Penguin have revealed it will be out around Autumn 2022

Richard Osman’s children

The Pointless presenter shares two children, Ruby and Sonny, with his ex-wife. Richard opened up to The Times about how he wants to spend as much time with his two children as possible and be different from his own father, who left home when Richard was aged 10.

“I've seen my kids nonstop. It was quickly worked out it wasn't going to be the same, which is an extraordinary relief,” he said. “They know I love them and I tell them nonstop, which bores them rigid. But I never got told that."

Richard Osman’s wife

Richard Osman was previously married to his now ex-wife in the 1990s, but the pair got a divorce in 2007. Osman then began dating jazz musician, Sumudu Jayatilaka, but their relationship ended in 2020. He’s now dating Doctor Who actress, Ingrid Oliver, and has even reportedly told pals that she’s ‘the one’.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Richard said:

“I’m happy with myself, I’ve got these beautiful kids, I’ve met the woman who I’m going to be with for the rest of my life.

How old is Richard Osman?

Richard Osman was born on 28 November 1970, currently making him 51 years old.

How tall is Richard Osman?

Pretty tall, he’s 6ft 7!

Did Richard Osman go to university?

Richard studied Politics and Sociology at Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, where he also met co-presenter Alexander Armstrong who was studying English. He said that he and another student were the first two people from his school to attend Cambridge and that the grounds were like Hogwarts from Harry Potter.

“I thought, ‘This is crazy!’ I mean it’s really impressive. It's amazing when you go up there and it’s not what you're used to," he said.

“One of the most memorable days of my life was my graduation from Trinity College Cambridge and my granddad, who’d come from the back streets of Brighton, was there on the Cambridge Backs with me,” Richard remembers. “It was an amazing, amazing thing and felt like the end of a big journey. My grandfather really understood the value of education and this was instilled in my mum and then me. I’ve always considered my achievements to be those of my family."

Richard Osman
©BBC/Remarkable Television, an Endemol UK company/Matt Frost

Where does Richard Osman live?

It’s believed that Richard lives in Chiswick in West London on his own, but he grew up in Haywards Heath in West Sussex.

Does Richard Osman have nystagmus?

Yes. Richard was born with nystagmus, a condition where your eyes move uncontrollably and your vision is reduced. His mum also suffers from it, but the presenter said she never made a big deal about it which helped him never see it as an issue.

Speaking to the Mail Online he said: “It was only when I first had kids, when I had a daughter 15 years ago, that I remember my mum saying, after all the excitement had died down, “Have you noticed anything about her eyes?” I said, “No. Nothing at all,” and there was this look of relief on her face.

“I thought, you've been keeping that bottled up for 27 years and you've never told me you thought it was a big deal.

“What a wonderful mum you've been that you have been upset about this for so long and you have never, ever shown it to me, to not make it an issue for me and it worked.”

Did Richard Osman invent House of Games

No. Richard is the host of the show, however the format was devised by Remarkable Television’s in-house creative team.

Did Richard Osman win who wants to be a millionaire?

Richard appeared on the celebrity special of the show, alongside singer Charlotte Church and former England football player, John Barnes, with Jeremey Clarkson as the host back in 2020. He won £32,000 for his chosen charity, Child’s Eye in Uganda.

Richard Osman Who Do You Think You Are?

The TV presenter will appear on Who Do You Think You Are on BBC One, which looks back at the family tree of people in the spotlight, even though it was initially reported that his ancestors weren't "exciting" enough.

“I’m due to start filming Who Do You Think You Are? in October and am really looking forward to that. I come from a typical working-class Brighton family and can’t wait to find out who came before my great grandparents – they are as far back as I know.”

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