Richard Osman 'upset' after 'vindictive attack' by crime writer Joan Smith 'Felt personal'

Richard Osman, 50, recently published The Man Who Died Twice, his sequel to his bestselling book, The Thursday Murder Club. But despite the roaring success of his first novel, the creator and co-presenter of Pointless has admitted he cannot help but feel “upset” when receiving a blistering review.

Richard claimed crime writer Joan Smith’s review of his work for The Sunday Times felt like a “vindictive attack” on him.

Joan wrote that the book was “a novel so flawed that it is hard to believe it would ever have been published without a celebrity’s name on the cover”.

Richard told this week’s Radio Times: “That did upset me.

“It felt very personal, like it wasn’t really a reflection on the book, but a vindictive attack on me.

Speaking to The i Newspaper Online, he said he knew he would get a book deal if he spoke to a publisher with his book idea.

He said: “I was very worried about that thing, ‘Oh it’s a celebrity writing a novel’, which, of course, is one of the worst phrases in the English language. 

“I didn’t want to go to a publisher and say, ‘I’ve got an idea’, because I know how publishing works, I knew they’d sign me up. 

“And that wouldn’t tell me whether it was good or not.”

Richard also revealed how the idea behind The Thursday Murder Club came about.

He said he got inspired after visiting his mother, a former teacher, in a retirement community in Sussex.

The author explained: “It’s a very beautiful place and as soon as you’re there you think, well, this would be an amazing place for a murder.

“And if there was a murder here, who would solve it?”

Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – out now.

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