Richard Osman reveals his food addiction is still ‘absolutely present’ in his life after a 40-year battle that started with a childhood heartbreak at the age of nine

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Richard Osman has spoken out about his 40-year battle with food addiction, which he credits to childhood emotional pain.

The TV presenter confessed that he has struggled with overeating since he was around nine years old, when his father left home.

He acknowledged that addiction was a “constant presence” in his life, explaining, “In general, addiction is an escape from pain.”

Speaking on Elizabeth Day’s How To Fail podcast, the 53-year-old former Pointless host opened up about his addiction, beginning by saying:

“An alcoholic would say the same thing: There’s a bottle of vodka in front of you, or there’s a bag of crisps in front of you, and it’s ridiculous that it’s stronger than you.

Richard Osman has revealed that his food addiction is still

Richard Osman has revealed that his food addiction is still “absolutely present” in his life, after battling a 40-year illness that began with a childhood heartbreak at the age of nine.

On Elizabeth Day's How to Fail podcast, the former Pointless host, 53, opened up about her addiction, explaining:

On Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail podcast, the former Pointless host, 53, opened up about her addiction, explaining: “In general, addicts are running away from pain.”

‘has no meaning. People are very critical in this world. I think, “How can you judge someone in this world and how they act, how they act, or what their momentary reaction to something is?” But in your life, there are many times less power than, say, a large chocolate bar in front of you? “.

He continued, “We all have human minds and we’re all crazy in slightly different ways.

“That’s the version of me I’ve been since I was probably 9 years old. It’s been absolutely always present in my life – weight, food, where I am in relation to it, happiness and relationships because of it. And I’m hiding it where I am.

“All of that was just like the drumbeat of my life.”

Richard previously spoke about the life-changing moment when his father called his family into the living room and told them he was having an affair.

Appearing on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, the presenter said: “My father left home when I was very young, about nine years old.” And I think maybe that was the end of that innocence. ”

Richard traveled by bus from his parents’ home in Sussex to the rugby field for several months to see his father, but they soon severed ties.

The two reconciled when Richard became a father in his 20s.

Richard (right) cut off ties with his father when he was nine years old after telling the family he was having an affair and leaving home. (Richard is pictured with Oh Jean, his younger brother Matt, grandfather Fred, and grandmother Jesse LR)

Richard (right) cut off ties with his father when he was nine years old after telling the family he was having an affair and leaving home. (Richard is pictured with Oh Jean, his younger brother Matt, grandfather Fred, and grandmother Jesse LR)

Richard spoke about his recovery, revealing that he only started therapy later in life, and that although he had relapsed, he knew how to cope.

Richard spoke about his recovery, revealing that he only started therapy later in life, and that although he had relapsed, he knew how to cope.

Delving into his own addiction, he told Elizabeth: “In general, addicts are running away from suffering.

“Obviously I was in a lot of pain, but you know, when I was nine or 10 years old… I especially didn’t want to feel the pain, I didn’t want to see my dad, and I said, ‘It’s okay, it’s okay.’ I want to.

“Once you start moving away from your true north, your true self, the further you move away, the bigger the leap you have to take back.

“So thought-stopping, numbing, things like that can be incredibly helpful for you, because once you start thinking, ‘Yeah, but wait a minute, maybe he’s missing. I think it might be lonely.”

“And I say, ‘Wait a minute, there’s food in the fridge, I’ll go get it.'” It’s like a fusion of 9-year-old me and another version of me at 9-years-old. And that fused part of me was energized by food, energized by secrets, energized by shame and all of that. ”

Speaking about his recovery, Richard revealed that he only started therapy later in life, and that although he had relapsed, he knew how to cope.

He said, “I don’t have any personal shame anymore. Addiction is shame. If you overeat, you’ll feel ashamed. When you feel shame, you overeat. It’s a spiral.”

“So you absolutely have to learn to cut it off at its source, and if you feel shame, just say, ‘That’s OK,’ because shame breeds more shame.” That’s shame. You have to accept that it’s not.

“If people really told us their secrets, everyone in town, we’d all be fucked up. We all have terrible things, and we all think it’s crazy sometimes. It’s Because we are all human.”

Richard said the first person he told about his food addiction was Jimmy Mulville of production company Hat Trick, with whom he created the comedy series Boys Unlimited, who recommended a therapist called Bruce Lloyd. .

He said,

He said, “I don’t have any personal shame anymore. Addiction is shame. If you eat too much, you’ll feel ashamed. When you feel shame, you eat too much. It’s a spiral.” wife Ingrid Oliver)

When Elizabeth asked how hard he was struggling to control his addiction, Richard replied: “I think it’s non-stop, but it happens so much every day that I don’t even notice the ins and outs of it anymore.” It becomes second nature.

“I’m either always in control or I’m not. I’m never like, ‘Oh, I’m going to take it easy today, I’m just going to have a salad for lunch.’

“I’m always conscious of what I’m eating or not eating. It’s much easier to understand than before.

“I know I can be very forgiving of myself even if I fall off the wagon. I have strategies to deal with it. But it’s always there.

“You can never become addicted, but you have to try to find a way to live with your addiction.”

Richard also claimed there was an obesity epidemic, blaming manufacturers for people’s food insecurity and obesity, and claimed there was “an absolute epidemic of food addiction in the world”.

“Billions of money are made by humans combining fat and sugar in a perfect way that doesn’t leave us full and leaves us wanting more.

“All the tricks of the psychologists, all the things that appeal to all the pleasure centers in our brains, are applied to food.

“I think there will come a time when the food we grew up with will be viewed in the same way as cigarettes.”

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