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Richard Osman says he wasn’t paid for the first four seasons of Pointless

Jake Massey

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Richard Osman says he wasn’t paid for the first four seasons of Pointless

Richard Osman has revealed that he was paid nothing for the first four seasons of Pointless.

The game show host-turned-novelist left the popular programme earlier this year, having presented the show alongside Alexander Armstrong since it first aired in 2009.

However, it took time for Pointless to become a hit, and as the creative director of the production company that made the show, Endemol Shine, he decided he would be 'payless' to begin with.

Osman didn't think he should pick up a pay cheque initially. Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo
Osman didn't think he should pick up a pay cheque initially. Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo

Speaking to the Irish Mirror, he said: "I didn't get paid for the first four series or so of Pointless because I was the creative director of the company and I did feel like it wasn't appropriate.

"Until series four we didn't have a hit and I was still doing my job. To me [hosting the show] was a fun hobby."

He continued: "But from the second series, me and Xander [Armstrong] were able to talk a bit more and the ratings started picking up. There was something about that relationship, the casualness and gentleness of it, that I think people liked."

Of course, the 51-year-old isn't short of a few pennies, particularly after the huge success of his crime novel series.

When Osman published The Thursday Murder Club in 2020, it quickly sold 134,514 copies and became that year's Christmas number one – the first debut fiction title to take the festive top spot.

But much like with Pointless, money isn't the motivating factor when Osman writes his novels.

Speaking to PA news agency, he said: "My favourite stories are when someone says, 'My mum bought the book, then she lent it to her mum, and then she lent it to me' – three generations all reading the same book, all enjoying it.

"I only get paid once, but I'm happy to take that."

Osman is of course aware that we can't take it with us, and since turning 50, he admitted that he has been viewing death differently.

He explained: "I've never worried about age – I got to 40 and I loved it, every age I turned I thought, 'This is fine'. But I turned 50 and I thought, 'Oh no'. It’s like a sledgehammer.

"I can't even kid myself I’m halfway through – I'm way more than halfway through now.

"I think the interesting thing about death is the closer you get to it, the less you fear it. We all know death is inevitable, we know it in our brains at a certain age.

"As you get older, when you live in certain circumstances, you know it in your heart, you understand it as an inevitability. Obviously, you'd love to wish it away – but you can't."

He continued: "My mum's generation has a very interesting attitude towards death, which is they understand it, it’s present in their lives.

"So actually, it’s not quite as taboo as it is for younger people. It doesn’t have that weird power over people, because it’s there – it’s very present.

"So I turned 50, and I felt in my heart rather than my head that we have a limited number of years on this planet, so we might as well leave it a better place than we found it."

Featured Image Credit: Rich Gold / Alamy Stock Photo / BBC

Topics: UK News, TV and Film, Celebrity

Jake Massey
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