Martin Lewis almost quit being the Money Saving Expert because he couldn't afford to do it
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Martin Lewis revealed he was 'very close' to giving up being the Money Saving Expert because he couldn't afford to do it as he struggled to pay his bills. Watch his interview below:
They say not all heroes wear capes and that is certainly the case for Lewis. The financial broadcaster and journalist has been a financial hero and saved countless Brits a fair few pennies over the years - but it almost didn't happen.
Lewis joined This Morning presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby to chat about his last two decades contributing to the show.
After joking about the number of 20 and 30-year-olds who won’t remember a time before Lewis graced our TV screens with his incredible advice, he said: “Before I came along money journalist was about investment and it was about ‘woo’ if you talk mortgages, never mind gas and electricity bills or anything like that and the television money spending stuff was about stop spending - it was actually impulse control and there was a great guy Alvin Hall [an American financial advisor] was out there and he was doing it and he was really good and telling people how to stop spending but I’m about playing the system and understanding how the system works and beating the system.”
The 50-year-old then explained how Money Saving Expert, which spawned a popular website and newsletter, came to be. “So I’d come up with this - I developed it on this Simply Money channel that nobody watched and that’s where I sort of learned my trade and got the title and I came out that went bust, I had a column in the Sunday Express, I did some stuff on Channel Five, that show was stopped - it was Gloria Hannaford and I had lunch with my dad and I said this is getting rid - I’m not sure this will work.
"I keep going to people and they say ‘money doesn’t work on television. You can’t make it work on television.’”
Well, we now know in 2023 that this isn’t the case at all but the odds were stacked against Lewis at the time. He told Holly and Phil, who watched and listened to the story and grinned like two proud parents, how he had contacted This Morning ‘for two years’ and his agent tried getting in touch with no initial luck. He told his dad ‘I’m gonna give two months more and then I’m gonna have to quit because I’m really struggling…’
Lewis was struggling to pay his bills but just about managed to cover them.
His fortunes started to change two days after the lunch date with his dad, when he was invited onto a Radio 5 debate program with economist, journalist and presenter Evan Davis.
“I was on fire,” he said about his performance on the radio show.
The wife of the editor of the programme heard Lewis on the show and asked for him to come on This Morning.
Lewis was an instant hit with viewers and after getting the call to come on every week he ‘burst into tears’.
His website was set up ‘roughly around the same time’ for a mere £80. He sold the website in 2012 to the Moneysupermarket.com group for up to £87 million.
What an incredible origin story.
Featured Image Credit: @martinslewis/Twitter/ITV
Topics: Martin Lewis, ITV, This Morning