Thursday Murder Club author Richard Osman discovers his ancestor formed a group of amateur sleuths to solve a real murder – just like his book
- Richard Osman’s novel The Thursday Murder Club reflects his family history
- The presenter’s quadruple great-grandfather discovered a corpse in the 19th century
- Gabriel Gilliam formed a group of detectives and was involved in a major murder trial
They say truth is stranger than fiction – but Richard Osman’s debut novel unwittingly mirrors a story straight out of his family archives.
The Thursday Murder Club follows a group of friends in a retirement village as they investigate unsolved crimes.
But the TV presenter recently discovered his ancestor had formed a group of detectives to solve a real murder centuries before he wrote his book.
Osman’s four-great-grandfather discovered a corpse and became embroiled in one of the biggest murder trials of the 1800s.
Gabriel Gilliam, a fisherman born in Brighton in 1789, was secretly smuggling food for his family.
Osman, 51, made the discovery during an upcoming episode of BBC1 Who Do You Think You Are?
Richard Osman (pictured on the BBC’s Graham Norton Show), 51, discovered his first novel unwittingly mirrored a story straight out of his family archives on an upcoming episode of BBC1’s Who Do You Think You Are?
He told the Radio Times: “Given the books I write, you just can’t make it up!” “It was extraordinary to discover that Gabriel Gillam formed a band of amateur detectives. It felt like it would make for a good Sunday night TV drama. There are a million stories about Britain’s upper class, from Downton to Bridgerton, but very few about poor communities.
The Thursday Murder Club was released in September 2020 and quickly became a bestseller.
The film’s worldwide rights have been purchased by Steven Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Entertainment. A sequel, The Man Who Died Twice, arrived in September last year.
The Thursday Murder Club follows a group of friends in a retirement village as they investigate unsolved crimes. But the TV presenter recently discovered his ancestor had formed a group of detectives to solve a real murder centuries before he wrote his book.
Last month, Osman announced he was stepping down from BBC game show Pointless after nearly 13 years “to focus on writing”.
He co-hosted over 1,300 episodes with Alexander Armstrong.
Osman will continue to present Unnecessary Celebrities and his Richard Osman show House Of Games on BBC Two.
His episode of Who Do You Think You Are? is due to air on June 9 on BBC1.