Richard Osman has opened up about his “absolutely ever-present” struggles with food addiction.

During a chat on Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail podcast, the 53-year-old TV star and bestselling author described his addiction as “running away from your pain”.

“Alcoholics will tell you the same, like it’s absurd that there’s a bottle of vodka in front of you or there’s a packet of crisps in front of you and it’s more powerful than you,” he said. “It makes no sense.”

Osman, who stepped down from the BBC gameshow Pointless in 2022, went on to describe his addiction as the “drumbeat” of his life.

“We’ve all got human minds and we’re all crazy in slightly different ways. That’s my version of it since I was probably nine years old. It’s been absolutely ever-present in my life – weight, food, where I am in relation to it, where I am in relation to happiness because of it, hiding it. All of that stuff, it’s been absolutely like the drumbeat of my life.”

Richard Osman. Credit: Getty Images

During a previous appearance on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, the author opened up about his father leaving when Osman was nine years old.

Describing it as “the end of that innocence”, he told Day about the judgement he has received from others, having struggled with food ever since.

“People are very judgmental in this world. I think, ‘How can you judge anyone in this world and how they behave, or how they act, or what their instant reaction to something is when you are less powerful many times in your life than, like, a big bar of chocolate in front of you?’”

Since leaving Pointless in 2022, Osman has gone on to achieve huge success as an author. In 2020 he published The Thursday Murder Club, which is currently being developed into a film by Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus.

He has since gone on to write a further three books in the series, with the third, The Bullet That Missed, selling over a million copies in the UK alone.

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