Why is Richard Osman leaving 'Pointless'? Read his statement as BBC confirms exit from quiz show

Picture shows: Alexander Armstrong, Richard Osman ,Alexander Armstrong, Richard Osman,22-04-2021,16
Richard Osman is leaving Pointless which he co-hosts with Alexander Armstrong. (BBC) (BBC/Remarkable Television, an Endemol UK company/Matt Frost)

Richard Osman has quit his role as Pointless co-host after 13 years on the BBC One quiz show.

TV presenter and author Osman, 51, has starred in the show alongside Alexander Armstrong for 13 years since 2009, but is planning to take a step back from the main series and from now on will only appear in celebrity specials.

Instead, Osman's chair will be filled by a series of guest stars explaining the answers who are yet to be confirmed, while Armstrong will stay on asking the questions.

Why is Richard Osman leaving Pointless?

After working as a TV producer since the 90s, Osman got his first presenting role alongside Armstrong when they launched Pointless in 2009 and has been a hit with viewers.

He has published two hugely successful crime thrillers, The Thursday Murder Club and The Man Who Died Twice, in the last two years and with two more titles expected in the series as well as a film adaptation of his debut novel in the works, he is concentrating on his literary career.

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Picture shows: Richard Osman ,Richard Osman,22-04-2021,16
Richard Osman has spent 13 years on the show. (BBC) (BBC/Remarkable Television, an Endemol UK company/Matt Frost)

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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 twelve amazing years."

He also tweeted: "SOME NEWS! After 13 wonderful years I'm leaving daytime Pointless, to concentrate on writing. Will still be doing the celebrity shows and 'HouseOfGames'. It has been the GREATEST pleasure and I can't wait to start watching as a viewer. Thank you to everyone!"

Osman thanked his co-star, the show's team and its fans, and added: "#TheThursdayMurderClub has become such a juggernaut around the world I simply couldn't keep up with my schedule. Delighted I'll still be involved in Pointless Celebrities though. I will still always be your Pointless friend."

Has co-host Alexander Armstrong responded to Osman's exit?

Although Osman is off, Armstrong plans to stick around as host.

Talking about his friend's departure, 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."

Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman to swap for Pointless' 1,000th ep
Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman have worked together since 2009. (BBC)

Osman will continue to host his other quiz show, House of Games, on BBC Two.

What has the BBC said about his departure?

Carla-Maria Lawson, head of daytime and early peak, said: "Whilst we will miss his wonderful wit and charm on the Daytime series, we’re delighted that Richard will continue ribbing and riffing with celebrities in the evening schedules as well as continuing to helm the brilliant Richard Osman’s House of Games for BBC Two."

Pointless airs on weekdays at 5.15pm on BBC One, with celebrity specials airing on Saturdays.

Watch: Richard Osman doesn't think Alexander Armstrong would quit Pointless if he left