Oxford comedian, singer and presenter Alexander Armstrong is looking for a new co-host after Richard Osman announced he is stepping back from Pointless after nearly 13 years on the show.

The presenter and novelist, 51, has co-hosted the BBC One gameshow alongside Alexander Armstrong since it debuted in 2009.

He will continue to host Pointless Celebrities as well as his BBC Two show, Richard Osman’s House of Games, while focussing on writing.

Mr Osman’s debut novel, The Thursday Murder Club, was published in September 2020 and became a bestseller.

Its global film rights were later bought by Steven Spielberg.

A sequel, The Man Who Died Twice, arrived in September.

Mr Osman has filmed more than 1,300 episodes of Pointless and nearly 30 series.

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Mr Armstrong said: “Daytime television’s loss is international best-selling crime fiction’s gain.

“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 sees members of the public competing for a cash prize by finding correct but obscure answers to four rounds of general knowledge questions.

Mr Osman was not originally intended to be Mr Armstrong’s co-presenter but after filling the role as part of a demonstration laid on for the BBC, executives asked him to continue for the first series.

The programme moved from BBC Two to BBC One after a successful two years.

Mr Armstrong said the show’s slot – scheduled just before the news at 6pm – leads to people coming across it by accident.

He told Radio Times: “Because we’re before the 6pm news people find us accidentally and then start switching over earlier and earlier – that’s how the Queen stumbled on the show.

“Her Majesty tunes in at 5.15pm, according to several reliable sources.”

Father-of-four Mr Armstrong is a former chorister and a Classic FM presenter, who was among 100 members of the Dragon School community who took part in a virtual recording of a song which also featured Radiohead's Colin Greenwood.

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The actor, who can often be seen walking his dog in University Parks, also met three young choristers from Magdalen College School as they prepared for their performance in  last year’s May Morning Celebrations, which were held online for a second year.

The likely candidate to permanently replace Mr Osman on the show is Countdown star Susie Dent, who appears in the Channel 4 show’s Dictionary Corner, and is the frontrunner, according to bookmakers Ladbrokes, which is offering odds of 5/2.

A trained lexicographer and etymologist, the 57-year-old has been a regular on Countdown since 1992 and has also published a series of annual Language Reports for the Oxford University Press.