Who could take Richard’s place after over a decade on the show? (Picture: BBC/REX)
Richard, 51, said being the host had been a ‘joy from start to finish’, adding that he looked forward to continuing to appear on the celebrity editions of the series.
The press release from the BBC revealed that Pointless star Alexander Armstrong will be joined by a line-up of guest presenters who are yet to be confirmed in episodes due to air later this year.
With speculation rife as to who these guest presenters could be, bookmakers have already predicted who could take Richard’s place on a permanent basis.
The etymologist is Ladbrokes’ current top contender (Picture: Rachel Joseph/Channel 4)
Countdown star and word-whizz Susie Dent, known for sitting in Dictionary Corner on the Channel 4 game show, is the current frontrunner according to bookmakers Ladbrokes, who are offering odds of 5/2 for her.
Susie, 57, who is a trained lexicographer and etymologist, has been on Countdown since 1992 and has published a series of annual Language Reports for the Oxford University Press.
Alex is the bandleader of punnily-named The Horne Section (Picture: Rex/Shutterstock)
Comedian Alex Horne, who’s best known for creating TV series Taskmaster and recently appeared on the celebrity version of The Great British Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer, is in second place with odds of 7/2.
The 43-year-old is also the host and bandleader of the comedy band The Horne Section and hosts a podcast for the group.
Victoria Coren Mitchell
Victoria is in second place (Picture: BBC/Hat Trick)
Next up is writer Victoria Coren Mitchell, who has hosted BBC quiz show Only Connect since 2008 and has 9/2 odds.
In addition to writing regular newspaper columns and books, the 49-year-old has also published a memoir about her career as a professional poker player called For Richer, For Poorer: A Love Affair With Poker.
Rachel’s known for her maths smarts on Countdown (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX)
Susie’s Countdown colleague Rachel Riley, the mathematics ace, has 5/1 odds to replace Richard on Pointless.
The 36-year-old originally replaced Carol Vorderman on Countdown when she joined the Channel 4 programme in 2009.
Could The Sinnerman take his spot? (Picture: ITV)
After Rachel comes The Chase quizzer Paul Sinha, known as The Sinnerman on the programme, with odds of 6/1.
In 2019, the now-51-year-old became the British Quiz Champion Of The Year, and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Other names thrown into the mix include TV presenter Rick Edwards, 8 Out Of 10 Cats star Jon Richardson, comedian Tim Vine and stand-up Alan Davies, with The Office co-writer Stephen Merchant, TV and radio presenter Konnie Huq, comedian Rhod Gilbert and Mock the Week regular Ed Gamble also receiving mentions.
Whoever takes over from Richard will have large shoes to fill (Picture: BBC/Remarkable Television, an En)
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes voiced his opinion that those in charge of Pointless ‘will target a rival gameshow in their quest to find Richard Osman’s replacement, with Susie Dent and Alex Horne seemingly in a two-horse race for the job as things stand’.
‘Whoever replaces Osman is sure to have big shoes to fill, and the odds suggest that role might well go to the only man in showbiz taller than the current co-host in the shape of Stephen Merchant,’ he added.
When it was announced that Richard was departing Pointless, he emphasised how much he’ll miss everyone who he worked with on the show.
‘I will miss everyone so much, but I’m thrilled that I’ll still be presenting the celebrity shows. I can’t thank everyone enough for twelve amazing years,’ he said.
Alexander paid tribute to his co-star, saying that ‘daytime television’s loss is international best-selling crime fiction’s gain’, amid the report that Richard made the decision to step down to focus on other ventures in his career.
The presenter continued: ‘I say that like it’s a consolation – I’m going to miss the big man next to me Monday to Friday. But at least I still get him at weekends – and weekdays if you’re watching on Challenge.’
Pointless next airs today at 5.15pm on BBC One and is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.