The Spy That Never Was
Richard Osman, the 52-year-old quiz show host and acclaimed author, recently shared a captivating tale from his past. Some three decades ago, while pursuing his studies at Trinity College, Cambridge, Osman harbored aspirations of joining MI6, the renowned British intelligence agency. However, the outcome of this endeavor was quite unexpected.
Osman, known for hosting BBC hits like "Pointless" and "Richard Osman's House Of Games," is also a successful crime novelist. His debut book, "The Thursday Murder Club," earned a British Book Awards nomination in 2020. It stars Elizabeth Best, a retired spy solving murders in a retirement village.
In a candid interview with The Guardian, Osman humorously recounted his MI6 aspirations while discussing his latest literary creation, "The Last Devil To Die." During the interview, he disclosed that MI6 had once considered him as a potential candidate for their ranks. However, the response from the intelligence agency was far from what he had expected.
"They (MI6) simply said, 'No, it's fine'… I would have made a terrible spy. I'm too tall, not quite sharp enough, and I have a penchant for sharing secrets. You couldn't find a worse spy. I can't keep a secret," Osman admitted with a self-deprecating grin.
In a playful tone, he added, "By the way, I'm still open to MI6 if they happen to read this. I could be of use now because no one would suspect me."
Last year, Osman made headlines with his decision to step down from his co-hosting role on the BBC One game show "Pointless," a position he had held alongside Alexander Armstrong for nearly 13 years. His rationale? To dedicate more time to his burgeoning career as an author.
Despite the intriguing narrative and Osman's trademark wit, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has maintained a discreet stance on the matter, adhering to the long-established government policy of refraining from commenting on the operations of intelligence agencies.