Richard Osman: Pointless star quits BBC quiz show

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Image caption,
In a statement, Osman said: "I can't thank everyone enough for twelve amazing years"

TV presenter Richard Osman is to leave the hit BBC One quiz show Pointless, the corporation has confirmed.

The 51-year-old has appeared on the show since 2009, filming more than 1,300 episodes across almost 30 series.

But in recent years, he has had to juggle his TV commitments with writing his successful Thursday Murder Club series of crime novels.

Host Alexander Armstrong will remain on Pointless, and Osman will continue to appear on its celebrity spin-off.

Osman will also continue to present his own BBC Two show House of Games, which launched in 2017.

In a statement, Osman 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 that I'll still be presenting the celebrity shows. I can't thank everyone enough for 12 amazing years."

Osman will not immediately be replaced with a permanent new co-host on Pointless, the BBC said.

Instead, Armstrong will be joined by a series of rotating guest presenters - details of which will be announced later this year.

Image caption,
Armstrong, seen during a brief swap with Osman on the show's 1000th episode, will continue to host the quiz show

Osman is introduced in every episode as Armstrong's "Pointless friend". He sits at a desk behind a laptop and his role is to provide additional data and trivia about the correct answers.

As the former creative director at TV production company Endemol UK, a position he retained until 2020, it was Osman who created the format for Pointless.

But he also ended up being cast as Armstrong's on-screen co-host after standing in during rehearsals prior to the show's launch.

The format of Pointless is essentially the opposite of Family Fortunes. Contestants are asked a series of questions which have already been put to 100 members of the public.

But instead of having to guess the most popular answer, contestants must identify the least popular - with extra money added to the jackpot if they find a "Pointless answer".

Obscure knowledge can help contestants keep a low score throughout the episode in the hope of ultimately winning the Pointless trophy.

In a statement, 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."

Media caption,
Henrik Larsson answer wins Pointless after advice from contestant's boyfriend

Osman has become a hugely successful author - with The Thursday Murder Club and its follow-up The Man Who Died Twice both topping the Sunday Times best-seller list for fiction.

Writing on Twitter, Osman said that the books had "become such a juggernaut around the world I simply couldn't keep up with my schedule".

A film adaptation is also in the works after the rights were bought by legendary director Steven Spielberg.

Filming for the next series of Pointless begins next month.

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