Pointless star Richard Osman has opened up about an addiction that started when he was just nine years old due to a childhood heartbreak.

The Thursday Murder Club author spoke about a food addiction that followed after his father left his family home.

Richard, 53, told the How To Fail with Elizabeth Day podcast it has “it’s been absolutely like the drum beat of my life”.

The dad-of-two explained: “It’s so ridiculous, this food stuff. Alcoholics will tell you the same, like it’s absurd that there’s a bottle of vodka in front of you or there’s a packet of crisps in front of you and it’s more powerful than you. It makes no sense. People are very judgmental in this world."

He added: "I think, ‘How can you judge anyone in this world and how they behave, or how they act, or what their instant reaction to something is when you are less powerful many times in your life than, like, a big bar of chocolate in front of you?’.

“We’ve all got human minds and we’re all crazy in slightly different ways."

Richard Osman recalls food addiction at the age of 9

Richard continued: “That’s my version of it since I was probably nine years old. It’s been absolutely ever-present in my life — weight, food, where I am in relation to it, where I am in relation to happiness because of it, hiding it.

“All of that stuff, it’s been absolutely like the drum beat of my life."

When he was nine, Richard’s father told him and his family that he was having an affair before leaving the family’s home, reports The Mirror.

The TV presenter shared: “By and large, addiction is running away from your pain. I was in a lot of pain, clearly, but do you know what, I was nine, ten . . . ‘I don’t want to be in pain particularly, I don’t want to miss my dad, I want to go, this is OK, everything’s fine’.

“If you start going away from your true north, who it is you actually are, the further you get away the bigger leap you have to make back. And so anything that can stop you thinking or numb you, or anything like that, is incredibly useful to you, because if you start thinking, you think ‘Yeah, but hold on, maybe I do miss him’.

“Then you go, ‘Hold on, there’s some food in the fridge, I’ll have that’. Nine-year-old me and a different version of me sort of converged at the age of nine and the bit of me that converged was fuelled by food and fuelled by secrecy and fuelled by sha- me and all of those things.”

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‘I have to accept that it’s not embarrassing’

Speaking about the therapy he had later in life and how he was able to “reconnect” with his younger self, the BBC House of Games host revealed: “I don’t have any personal shame any more. Addiction is shame. You’ll over-eat, you’ll feel shame about that. Shame makes you over- eat. It’s a spiral. So you have to learn to absolutely just cut it off at the source, and if you do feel shame, just to go, ‘That’s all right’ because shame leads to more shame.

“I have to accept that it’s not embarrassing. If people really told you their secrets, everyone on the street, we’re all f***ed. We’ve all got terrible things, we’ve all got stuff that we just think is crazy. That is because we are all human beings.

"I was able much later in life to reconnect with the nine-year-old version of me, which is great. Reconnecting with a nine-year-old is really quite a good thing to reconnect with, because it’s really pure and funny and loving and curious and interested in the world. So it’s rather lovely I feel a connection with that nine-year-old.”

Watch the full episode with Richard Osman on the How To Fail with Elizabeth Day podcast on Spotify, Apple and YouTube.

If you have been affected by topics discussed in this article, please visit the NHS website or Beat (the UK's eating disorder charity) for advice or information.