The bestselling author of hit novel series The Thursday Murder Club has revealed that he was approached by the security services and interviewed for the role of spy.
Richard Osman, who is a TV personality in the UK as well as the bestselling author of the record-breaking crime fiction series, told The Guardian newspaper that he received the traditional “tap on the shoulder” from MI6 – the Secret Intelligence Service which runs espionage operations overseas, as the UK equivalent of the CIA – during his time as a student at Cambridge University.
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Osman revealed that he had proceeded to the interview stage but had failed the tests he was set by a series of strangers “who got older and posher throughout the day.”
“They just said, ‘No, it’s fine’,” he said of the end of the process. And he added: “I would have been terrible. I’m too tall [6ft 7in], not bright enough, and if I have a secret, I tell everybody. You could not find a worse spy … I cannot tell a lie.”
Spycraft’s loss was crime fiction’s gain, with Osman about to publish the fourth mystery in his bestselling series. He has now sold more than five million copies of the books in the series, making him the UK’s biggest new fiction author of the decade. And the film rights have been scooped up by Steven Spielberg.
Osman has also signed with Netflix to write a fresh crime series, he currently has two more Murder Club novels to write, plus a fresh series, which, he says, will also be crime.
The Thursday Murder Club first found a huge readership during lockdown, with fans warming to Osman’s quartet of elderly friends living in a retirement village and using their wiles – as well as the fact that they’re not being observed as intently as younger people – to solve a series of crimes.
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