The one lesson I’ve learned from life: Richard Osman says don’t give your children advice
Richard Osman, 50, is the creator and co-presenter of TV game show Pointless. His novel, The Thursday Murder Club, was the biggest-selling crime debut ever in Britain. Divorced, and father to Ruby, 23 and Sonny, 21, he lives in west London.
I’ve always believed in the maxim that it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.
I’m a huge believer in that. What else are we here for? They’re not going to make statues of us that are still around in 1,000 years.
I make it my business to be pleasant to people. But more than that, I refuse to work with people who are not.
Richard Osman, 50, (pictured) who lives in west London, claims his mother, Brenda, was too clever to give he and his brother advice
I learned a lot from my mother, Brenda, who raised me and my brother, Mat, single-handedly from the time my dad left when I was nine. She never, ever gave us advice. She was too clever for that. She was a primary school teacher and was bright enough never to push us to become a doctor or a lawyer.
She just let us be. She was also smart enough to encourage us to pursue the things we were interested in. She left us in peace.
I give my kids, Ruby and Sonny, endless advice. I try to tell them things I hope they’ll remember when they’re 60 so that they’ll go: ‘You know what my dad used to say?’
My mum’s incredibly kind. She always let us know we were loved. And, by example, I learned from an early age to respect other people. Now in her 80s, she’s thrilled with my success and Mat’s — he’s the bass guitarist in the band Suede — and especially so since each of us has written novels.
My granddad was a great one for advice, though. He was a police officer and he always used to say: ‘If you’re called to break up a fight in a pub, make sure you’re not the first one through the door.’
What he meant was the first through the door was usually the one that took the beating. It’s the person who follows who learns from the experience. And that’s something you can apply to many situations in life.
The Man Who Died Twice, by Richard Osman (£18.99, Viking), is out now.