Pointless future: 'Naturally pessimistic' Richard Osman worries quiz will end

Pointless Richard Osman

Pointless star Richard Osman has said he hopes the BBC quiz show continues for many years, but that he understands there is a “shelf life” for most television programmes

Pointless star Richard Osman has said he hopes the BBC quiz show continues for many years, but that he understands there is a “shelf life” for most television programmes.

The TV producer and quiz show aficionado said he is “naturally pessimistic” and fears the popular show will run its course.

Along with presenter Alexander Armstrong, Richard has helmed the tricky teatime quiz show since 2009, and they have so far filmed more than 1,000 episodes of its original version and spin-off Pointless Celebrities.

Richard Osman

Richard Osman (Dominic Lipinski/PA)


Asked if he hopes the programme continues for many years, Richard told the Press Association: “I hope so, my day job is a producer so I know what the shelf life of TV shows are.

“I’ve worked on so many over the years, and most of them don’t go on for as long as Pointless – we’ve done a lot.

“And so I’m always on the lookout for when it’s going to end, because I’m naturally pessimistic, and Xander is naturally optimistic.”

He said he and his co-star “always said if it comes off-air it won’t be because of us, we’ll do it forever because we’re so grateful to it, and we love it”.

Richard, who co-created the show and is the creative director of its production company Endemol UK, added: “I’m aware it’s television and at some point, you have to ring the changes and you have to think of something new and one day they will, I know that – but we’re about to film another 200 shows!”

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Richard has also said that he hopes his new book The World Cup Of Everything – in which he prompts people to debate about things such as the best crisps, biscuits, animals and sitcoms – has people arguing about trivial topics, rather than subjects such as Brexit.

Based on his Twitter World Cup polls, one of the most popular of which was the World Cup of Biscuits for Comic Relief earlier this year, the book encourages readers to whittle down different items in a World Cup-style league table.

He joked that it could cause serious tension among families and friends as they battle it out over their favourite things, and that he is expecting lots of angry responses on Twitter.

Richard said: “It’s going to get crazy. But this is the way I look at it – with your family, you’re going to argue with them anyway… you’re going to argue about something.

Richard Osman's The World Cup of Everything

Richard Osman’s The World Cup of Everything is available now (Hodder & Stoughton)


“You’re either going to argue about Brexit or the fact your dad doesn’t like your boyfriend… or you could argue whether Monster Munch pickled onion are the best crisps.

“I’m essentially taking the flak away from the normal arguments you have with your family and putting them somewhere else.”

He said: “I know on Boxing Day my Twitter feed is going to be full of people saying ‘how dare you?’ or saying ‘why is this up against that?’ – it’ll be carnage.

“But that means people are enjoying it and that’s really the point of it. People love this sort of outrage they’re allowed to have.”

Richard added he is still surprised at how much attention his World Cup polls receive on Twitter, but that he is pleased to have tapped into the nation’s psyche.

He said the popularity of the polls enables him to raise money for charity Child’s i Foundation, which helps displaced children in Uganda.

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