Richard Osman has revealed he wasn't paid a penny for the first four series of hit show Pointless.
The TV presenter and author, 51, co-hosted the BBC quiz series alongside his friend Alexander Armstrong from episode one in 2009 until this summer.
But when the show first started, he decided against taking a pay cheque until it became a success because he was one of the bosses of Endemol UK who produced the series.
He said: "I didn't get paid for the first four series or so of Pointless because I was the creative director of the company and I did feel like it wasn't appropriate.
"Until series four we didn't have a hit and I was still doing my job. To me [hosting the show] was a fun hobby."
He continued: "But from the second series, me and Xander [Armstrong] were able to talk a bit more and the ratings started picking up. There was something about that relationship, the casualness and gentleness of it, that I think people liked."
Richard left Pointless after his writing career took off with his crime novel series The Thursday Murder Club.
But he could have been solving mysteries himself as he was tapped up to be a spy when he was at Cambridge Uni. He even completed a weekend trial run.
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He said: "I've always loved the idea of being a spy but at the time it wasn’t for me. But it was interesting.
"You'd do fun war gaming. You’d have four different people, it would be like The Apprentice, but for spies, and they'd interview you and you'd be war gaming and they'd ask you about killing for your country and all these things.
"I loved it. But no, I didn't pursue that path. Or did I? I did not pursue it." Richard, who is 6ft 7ins, added: "I think I’m too tall to be a spy."
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