‘We found the things we wanted’ - Brothers Mat and Richard Osman recall their mum’s influence

Virgin Radio

27 Mar 2024, 14:34

Credit: The Sun / Virgin Radio

When Suede’s Mat Osman and his telly star brother Richard Osman visited Virgin Radio, they recalled their childhood and spoke about how they took different paths into music and TV.

The pair joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with webuyanycar to talk about the bassist’s second novel, The Ghost Theatre, when talk turned to their early days. “Our mum was a teacher. So there were always books in the house,” Mat said.

Richard interjected: “It was mainly Jackie Collins though!”

Talking about how one brother went on to present shows such as House of Games and Pointless, while the other graces stages around the globe with Suede - and both have become successful authors - Richard said: “I went into television because that's how my brain works. That boom, boom, boom, entertain, entertain, entertain, keep people reading. Matt went into music, because that's how his mind works, which is passion and expressing yourself and trying to bring beauty out of chaos. And that's how the books read, I think.”

Talking about their childhood, the Thursday Murder Club author said: “All my mum really did was leave us alone, to tell you the truth. Kids these days, they’ve got to do piano lessons or French lessons. She worked out that Mat liked music, she worked out that I liked watching telly and writing stuff. And she just let us do it, I think, and she loved us. And she never pushed us. She never told us to go to university. She loved Mat more than she loves me, because he's the oldest. But she was very, very hands off apart from where love is concerned.”

Mat said: “I think the thing is that your kids are never never going to do what you want them to do. So it's pointless forcing them into something. She just let us be, and we found our own passions, we found the things that we wanted. And I think she was bemused by most of that. I think was fantastic when Ricky wrote a book, because she could talk to her friends about that. She couldn't really play them Suede.”

Richard added: “When we did TV and music, she was proud, but she was kind of like, ‘hmm, yeah,’ but when we were authors, she was like, Oh, my boys!”

Speaking about his brother’s book, The Ghost Theatre, Richard said: “If you're starting a train journey, if you're starting a plane journey, anything like that, if you've got a couple of hours to spare, if you read the first page, by all means put it down if you don't like it, but you will read the second page, then you read the third. 

“It's just one of those books that absolutely captivates you and takes you into a brand new world. And I love writing about the world as it is now. That's the thing I feel that I have in my power to talk about the world around us. I cannot imagine the fruits of creative imagination that go into inventing an entirely new world that's real, but feels fantastical.

He added: “Mat's always been brilliant, everything he's ever done. But I love the fact that it's incredibly entertaining as well. You know, some writers who have these descriptive powers, they get lost in it, and Mat never loses sight of the story at any point.”

Read more about what Richard and Mat said about The Ghost Theatre here.

The Ghost Theatre is out in paperback tomorrow (28th March).

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with webuyanycar weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.