The Vicar of Dibley star, who has written four novels and two autobiographies, responded to an interview with Osman in which he claimed that “everyone” emulates the covers of his books.
In the interview with The Guardian, it was noted that “copycat swirly font covers” have “followed in the slipstream” of the Pointless host’s book, The Thursday Murder Club.
“Richard Bravery created the cover – so great, so iconic,” Osman said, adding: “Now everyone does the same. We’re working on the next series. The two of us sitting there going, ‘We’ll show ’em. We’ll give them a different cover, a cover that makes them go: Ooooh, that’s what we need to copy now.’”
In response to this, French pointed out the striking similarities between Osman’s book cover and her own, A Tiny Bit Marvellous, which was released nine years before.
She wrote on X/Twitter: “Ahem… With MASSIVE respect to the v v clever @richardosman in The Guardian today… claiming his lovely cover is often imitated.. Cover on left 2011... Cover on right 2020... You’re welcome…”
Osman responded to French’s post, seemingly acknowledging her point.
He wrote: “Haha! Love that my little fox is looking apologetically over his shoulder at your little dog.”
In 2022, Osman left the BBC’s hit quiz show Pointless after 14 years. His 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’s production company Amblin Entertainment.
A sequel, The Man Who Died Twice, arrived in September 2021, and the third book in the series, The Bullet that Missed, followed in 2022. The Last Devil to Die, the fourth book in the series, will be published on 14 September.