Why has Richard Osman quit Pointless and who is replacing him?

Fans are wondering why has Richard Osman quit Pointless and who is replacing him? As the star announces he's leaving the popular quiz show after 13 years.

Why has Richard Osman quit Pointless?

You can't beat a good game show, whether it's ITV's Tenable or The Chase, or the Queen's favourite show, Pointless. But Her Majesty and fans of the BBC One quiz show will be wondering why is Richard Osman quit Pointless and who is replacing him following the news that he is leaving the programme. 

He's not the only game show host to step down in recent weeks, Anne Robinson is leaving Countdown and Jeremy Paxman has since announced he's leaving University Challenge.

Since Pointless launched on screens back in August 2009, the game show with a difference has seen contestants try to score as few points as possible by racking their brains and trying to come up with answers no one else can think of for general-knowledge questions. Spanning 26 regular series and 16 celebrity series Richard Osman has hosted the show alongside Alexander Armstrong for the last 13 years. 

But after Richard announced he his stepping down from the show, we look at why and who's likely to replace him...

Why has Richard Osman quit Pointless?

Richard Osman has announced he's quit pointless after 13 years on the show to focus on growing his career as a best-selling novelist. Richard, who has filmed more than 1,300 episodes and nearly 30 series over the last 13 years is stepping down from the main weekday version of the show but the BBC has confirmed he will continue to co-host Pointless Celebrities as well as his BBC Two show Richard Osman's House of Games.

He issued a statement to inform fans of the news, it read, "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 twelve amazing years."

Richard recently got engaged to his Dr Who girlfriend Ingrid Oliver and they later married in December 2022.

On the announcement that Richard was quitting, Alexander said at the time, "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."

And fans have been sharing their best wishes for his future.

One tweeted, "You and @XanderArmstrong have made the show the success it has become and continues to be. I enjoy all the "real" quiz shows not the trend to entertainment featuring a quiz. Pleased you will still be around for celebrity shows. Long may Pointless continue!"

Another fan said, "We'll miss you Richard!"

And a third added, "Knew this day was coming with the success of the books. Will still watch and enjoy it. Be nice for you to put your feet up (after filming celeb version, house of games and writing more novels of course)"

Who is replacing Richard Osman on Pointless?

Richard Osman will be replaced by a rotation of six celebrity guest presenters - now confirmed as Sally Lindsay, Connie Huq, Comedian and Soccer Aid 2022 star Alex Brooker, Ed Gamble, Stephen Mangan and Lauren Laverne - who will join Alexander Armstrong who is to remain as host of the show.

Alexander said, "This is going to be such a ride! Richard will still be in once a week on Saturdays to make sure everything’s ticking over nicely. But otherwise, it’s just me bringing new Pointless friends in and showing them the ropes.

"Loads of new and fun personalities on the desk next to me. I can’t wait."

Speaking about her new role, new host Sally, who has worked on Tenable, said, "As everyone knows I love a game show and being asked to sit in Richard Osman’s hallowed chair is beyond thrilling! Can’t wait to be 'Pointless'.”

Stephen added: "I am incredibly excited to be joining my old friend Xander on such an iconic show. What could possibly go wrong?"

TV presenter Lauren Laverne, admitted, “It’s an honour and a thrill to be joining the Pointless team and to go from playing along at home to celebrating (and commiserating) with the brave contestants who take on the search for obscure and delightful nuggets of knowledge!”

Ed Gamble is also a huge fan of the show, he said, “I’m presuming someone else has made the joke about having big shoes to fill but I want everyone to know I thought of it as well. I’m over the moon to have a go at co-hosting one of my favourite TV shows ever and I can’t wait to show everyone my impeccable general knowledge (providing I have full access to the internet at all times).”

Former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, is excited to join, she said, “Really looking forward to sitting at the esteemed Pointless computer and sharing my pearls of wisdom on the show! Can’t wait to get cracking, gonna go revise now!”

And comedian Alex Brooker, added, “When you think of Richard Osman on Pointless, you think of his charm, wit and intelligence. I’m so proud to think the show have decided to go completely the opposite way with me! I’m so excited to be a part of such a brilliant show and can’t wait to work with Xander.”

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Richard, who is a fan of Wordle, published his debut novel The Thursday Murder Club back in September 2020 and it became a bestseller - selling more than a million copies. The global film rights were later bought by Steven Spielberg's production company Amblin Entertainment.

And he's just written his sequel, The Man Who Died Twice, which hit shelves in September.

He previously released a book The 100 Most Pointless Arguments In The World' with Alexander Armstrong.

Richard Osman and Alexander Armstrong Pointless LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 11: Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman meet fans and sign copies of 'The 100 Most Pointless Arguments In The World' at Waterstones Leadenhall on December 11, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)

Credit: Getty

Who is Richard Osman in a relationship with?

Richard Osman, 51, is in a relationship with Doctor Who actress Ingrid Oliver, 44, and he admitted he found 'the one' in lockdown as he gushed over his girlfriend saying he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. The presenter and author split from his wife in 2007 but has found love again with Ingrid.

Speaking on Christmas Day edition of Desert Island discs, he confessed, "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.

"That thing of competition and ambition, you soon realise that rocket fuel disappears and it’s about happiness and my kids bring me happiness and Ingrid brings me happiness."

Ingrid, who is best-known for playing Petronella Osgood in the BBC One sci-fi show, has appeared alongside Richard on his House of Games show and she is said to have moved into Richard's home in south-west London.

Ingrid is the daughter of Conservative MP Jo Gideon and starred in BBC sketch show Watson & Oliver.

The couple got engaged in May 2022.

A photo posted by on

Meanwhile. Richard shares two grown up children, Ruby and Sonny with his ex wife. But in an interview with The Times he vowed to see his children as much as possible, as his father left when he was just 10 years old.

"When my partnership broke up, I did think, 'Oh God, this is going to be awful'. I've seen my kids nonstop. It was quickly worked out it wasn't going to be the same, which is an extraordinary relief. They know I love them and I tell them nonstop, which bores them rigid. But I never got told that."

Pointless is on BBC One weekdays at 5.15pm and is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)