How Pointless became very relevant

Richard Osman worked behind the scenes in TV until he pitched the quiz show Pointless to the BBC - and was asked to co-present it. He talks about his accidental fame.

YOU’RE APPEARING ON ALL ABOUT TWO AS PART OF BBC TWO’S 50TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE SHOW?

It’s a lovely 90-minute quiz full of great clips, questions and stories from 50 years of BBC Two. Dara O Briain is hosting in his brilliant way, and I’m playing my usual sidekick role, asking extra questions, showing little clips and adding extra facts. There are loads of brilliant guests on it too.

WHAT’S YOUR SPECIALIST BBC TWO SUBJECT?

Just because of when it came about and how revolutionary it was for me, I would say The Young Ones. The next morning in the school playground, life was never the same again. I just think that was the most extraordinary bit of television for my generation.

IT WAS RECENTLY ANNOUNCED THAT THE BBC HAS ORDERED ANOTHER 200 EPISODES OF POINTLESS...

We’re in the middle of filming those at the minute. It’s great fun, with a brilliant team and I get on with Xander [Armstrong], but sometimes I do think it would be nice to do something like University Challenge that’s only on once a week.

CAN YOU SEE YOURSELF DOING EVEN MORE EPISODES IN THE FUTURE?

When we finish this run, we’ll be up to about 800 episodes, and it would be nice to get to 1,000. I know as a producer that all of these shows have a shelf-life and at some point they tail off, and Pointless will too. It shows no sign at the moment - I get the overnight viewing figures every morning and I always have a little look, and there’s nothing scary yet.

IF SOMEONE ASKED YOU TO PRESENT ANOTHER SERIES, WOULD YOU CONSIDER IT?

There are a few things that have come along that I’m having a little think about, but I’ll probably record a new show at some point this year. I’ve got a little quiz for BBC Two, which is a really neat format that I think I’d have fun doing, so there might be news about that later in the year.