Pointless Star: Richard Osman discusses his lifelong struggle with food addiction

Pointless Star: Richard Osman discusses his lifelong struggle with food addiction
Share post

Richard Osman, star of the Pointless TV show, has stated that he has fought with food addiction since he was nine years old.

The TV personality turned mystery author compared the temptation to sneak food to alcoholism, admitting that he has accepted that he would have to live with the addiction for the rest of his life.

Pointless Star: Richard Osman discusses his lifelong struggle with food addiction

He went on to say that, although alcoholics struggle to keep untouched bottles of whiskey in their homes, he experienced comparable urges for chocolate bars or crisps.

‘My addicted behaviour has always been food,’ the 51-year-old says in an incredibly open interview aired on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs today. It’s been like this since I was a child.’ It lacks the type of hopeless glitter associated with drugs, alcohol, and other vices…

‘I haven’t gone a day since I was nine years old without thinking about food issues and how they affect me, and it will be with me for the rest of my life.’

‘I know that at any given moment, I am either controlling it or not controlling it.’ And these days, I have more control over it than I don’t.’

He went on to say that, although alcoholics struggle to keep untouched bottles of whiskey in their homes, he experienced comparable urges for chocolate bars or crisps.

‘The addiction is the same,’ he said. ‘The humiliation of ingesting these things,’ says the author.

However, the father of two pointed out some significant disparities in how the issue is being addressed. ‘Food is a difficult subject,’ he said.

‘Because you can simply give up drinking and drugs – which is really tough – but, you know, a zero-tolerance approach.’

‘However, if you are hooked to food or love – all of these things that keep you alive – you must have them. As a result, getting out of it is fairly difficult.


‘Because you have to eat, it’s really extremely difficult, and you do fall up every now and again.’ I give it my all, and I have no qualms about it any more.’

Osman, who is 6ft 7in tall, claimed he has always been self-conscious about his height, observing that ‘any moron would say something ridiculous to you.’

He has nystagmus, a disorder in which the eye makes uncontrollable movements. As a result, he is unable to drive and compares his vision to being in a constant fog.

He first saw a bird in a tree or a cricket ball on television, and he stated that his inability to read an autocue has helped him advance in his business since he has had to learn to improvise.

‘I’ve been able to take use of it,’ the BBC veteran remarked. ‘However, I’d want to be able to see well.’

Richard Osman also talked with presenter Lauren Laverne about his father’s life-changing announcement that he was having an affair in the living room.

‘My father left when I was fairly young, when I was around nine,’ the presenter said. And, I believe, it was the end of that innocence.’

Richard Osman travelled by bus from his family’s home in Sussex to Rugby to visit his father for many months, but he quickly terminated relations.

‘Eventually, I simply said, ‘Look, this is not for me,” he remembered. ‘I don’t want to see you anymore,’ I shouted, throwing a tantrum.

Of course, he was seeking attention, but it was accepted at face value, and I stopped seeing him.’


When Richard Osman became a parent in his twenties, the two reconciled. From the late 1990s until 2007, he was married, and currently he is dating actress and comedian Ingrid Oliver.

Osman, though, attributes his achievement to his mother Brenda, a primary school teacher.

‘She’s an exceptional lady who accomplished great things for which I am eternally thankful,’ he added.

‘Right now, my favourite aspect of my success is the things I can provide her.’

Osman’s tremendously popular “Thursday Murder Club mystery series” was inspired by his mother’s purchase of a property in a retirement community in Sussex.


In addition to his mother, Osman credited his elder brother Mat, who co-founded the chart-topping rock band Suede, for inspiring him.

He remarked, ‘It was as if someone had punched a hole in the sky for me.’

‘You just think, ‘Wow, we’re from where we’re from, and you’re singing these songs on Top Of The Pops with your buddies!’

‘I was very proud of him, and I also thought to myself, ‘We can do it.’ There are chances out there for you to take advantage of. If you desire, you can create it.’ I’ll never forget that for the rest of my life.’


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.