Pointless star Richard Osman has signed debut book deal for £1.1m — the biggest in a decade

POINTLESS host Richard Osman has bagged the biggest debut book deal in a decade — worth £1.1million.

The TV quiz star, 48, has sold a crime novel he wrote in secret, telling only his closest friends about the project.

The Thursday Murder Club, about four pensioners who meet weekly to solve cold cases, was so highly sought-after that ten publishers got into a fierce bidding war before Viking, part of the Penguin group, was successful.

Richard, who found fame as a co-host of the BBC1 show with Alexander Armstrong had worked on the novel for 18 months.

His earnings will shoot up as the rights have also sold for six figures in America and Germany and deals have been landed in Holland, France and Italy.

His agent Juliet Mushens said of the novel: “I knew that it would be warm and witty. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for how brilliantly The Thursday Murder Club would come to life.”

Richard, who also fronts BBC2’s House of Games said: “To turn from a lifelong reader to a debut author is a dream come true.”

“And I’m delighted that my Mum now thinks I have a proper job.”

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