Richard Osman claims over 70s have 'disappeared' from culture

Richard Osman says ageism has erased over 70s from modern culture – and reveals he’s ‘proud’ that the main characters in his million-selling book The Thursday Murder Club are OAPs

  • Richard Osman, 51, said ‘redundant’ over 70s are being forgotten by society  
  • The West London-based comedian and author wrote The Thursday Murder Club 
  • Novel inspired by the friends of Osman’s mother from retirement community 

British author Richard Osman has said over 70s are often no longer seen as relevant to modern culture, as society focuses on the young. 

The Pointless star, 51, who has penned two books about pensioners playing detectives, said he was ‘proud’ that his novels put the spotlight on the elderly. 

The Thursday Murder Club and its sequel The Man Who Died Twice follow four pensioners living in a retirement home using their time to solve crimes. His debut was a huge success, with Steven Spielberg snapping up the rights to the film.  

Osman, who’s dating actress Ingrid Oliver, told BBC Radio 2 yesterday he feels that ‘clever, brilliant’ people over 70 are being ignored and underestimated by the rest of the population. 

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West London-based author and presenter Richard Osman, 71, has claimed over 70s are being erased from modern culture and that no one is asking for their opinion anymore (pictured on ITV’s Good Morning Britain in June 2018)

The TV brainbox said the fact the elderly are often sidelined makes them perfect detective material.  

‘As soon as you put those things together you think these people are so smart, know every trick in the book, have played every trick in the book, but they’re underestimated,’ he said. 

‘You think: who better to be a detective?’

The author said over 70s are enjoying their lives but have been forgotten by others, and are not asked their opinion and are not being represented on TV. 

Osman, who’s brother Matt was in the Britpop band Suede, said he was ‘proud’ of his book, which was inspired by spending time with his mother, Brenda Wright, and her friends from her retirement home. 

‘And they’re so brilliant to write about because anyone over 70 has such a great attitude to the world,’ he said. 

‘You’ve got a bit of perspective, and you know a little bit about the world,’ he added. 

Richard’s two novels, the Thursday Murder Club and The Man Who Died Twice have been commercial success and focus on a group of four pensioners playing detective 

Osman, who has enjoyed huge commercial success with his debut book, said he was the most proud of the success his books have enjoyed because they feature the elderly as the main protagonists.  

In the book, pensioners Elizabeth, Ibrahim, Ron and Joyce all meet in the jjgsaw room of their retirement community each Thursday to go over old crimes and unresolved murders. 

In September, Osman mother’s admitted she had been ‘worried’ about her son’s book because she did not want it to offend her friends at the retirement company. 

She was so worried she even skimmed through her own copy of the book to make sure nothing would rub her friends the wrong way. 

‘I got to the end and I thought there’s nothing in there that could upset anybody, because we’ve got some quite touchy people [here]. 

Osman, pictured in September, said he was inspired to write the novels after spending time with her mother and her friends from the retirement home

‘I read it through and I thought, ‘Oh, I like this.’ 

Then I thought I’m going to let as many people as I know, know what’s coming, because I think if you know what’s coming, sometimes you cope with it better,’ she told the Times. 

Her friends at the home tried to make out who was who as well. 

‘Everyone says that he was thinking of so and so, and I say: “Well, he doesn’t actually know so and so.” They are all wrong,’ Brenda said. 

In November, the BBC favourite revealed that his childhood was shattered when his father walked out on his family for another woman when he was nine.

The TV quiz show host states in a new book that his paternal grandmother then ceased all contact and never sent him so much as a Christmas card.

Osman revealed his family’s split in the book, Letter to My Younger Self, which features interviews with 100 ‘inspiring people on the moments that shaped their lives’ and is published in aid of the Big Issue.

Book thief: His debut novel, The Thursday Murder Club, has sold more than a million copies and Steven Spielberg has bought film rights

Couple goals: On a recent episode of Richard Osman’s (left) House Of Games, celebrity contestant Ingrid Oliver (right) won a suitcase emblazoned with the host’s silhouette

His aunt Mabel Osman, 90, has denied the claims, saying it was his mother who cut ties with his father’s side of the family.  

In his interview with Jane Graham who devised and edited the book, the 6ft 4ins tall comedian said: ‘I find it hard when I’m looking back at my childhood to have my dad in it in any form [his father left the family home suddenly when Richard was nine].

‘Maybe he’s sort of there in my head, I suppose, but he’s definitely not in my heart.

‘I remember very clearly when I was nine, and my world was a fairly great place, and I walked into the front room — he was there, my mum was there, my grandmother was there, which was weird, though of course I realised later that was for moral support — and they just said, ‘Look, your dad is in love with somebody else and he’s leaving.’

‘I just thought, ‘Riiight, okay.’ And he left and his entire side of the family never spoke to us again.’

Osman said he met up again with his father and his paternal relatives a few years ago when he attended the 50th wedding anniversary of one of his dad’s brothers.

But he risked upsetting his father’s relatives in his interview for the book by describing the party as ‘cold’, and saying that the Osmans were the opposite of the ‘loving and open’ relatives from his mother’s family, the Wrights.

Osman said: ‘A few years ago, I went to see my dad. It was one of his brothers’ 50th wedding anniversary so I thought, “I’m going to take the kids, they should really meet the rest of this family”.

‘But it was so cold. There were lots of them standing around, talking about what an extraordinary woman my paternal grandmother was.

‘And they said to me, “What did you make of her?” I said, “Honestly, she literally never spoke to me after my dad left, never sent me a Christmas card.”

‘So that’s not really a conversation they’re going to join in on. Some families are just like that.

‘The other side of my family fortunately, my mum’s side, are completely the opposite. Loving and open. So, I did all right.’

But Mabel hit back at Osman’s recollection, saying: ‘The only one of David’s brothers who had a 50th wedding anniversary would have been Richard’s uncle John.

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