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Hermoine Norris: my days of big TV salaries are gone — I shop from Asda's value range

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Hermoine Norris earned a reported £75,000 per episode for the final series of ITV’s Cold Feet in 2003, so you would expect she'd be living very comfortably. But the actress, 46, has claimed that British TV pays such meagre salaries that she buys her groceries from Asda's budget range.

Times are tougher, the mum-of-two told the Reader's Digest. "It's quite a different industry now and the money has gone down hugely. So there's still quite a bit of Asda Smart Price going on in my life. I certainly don't squander cash lightly. 

Hermoine© Photo: Getty Images
Hermoine says the British TV wages have dropped significantly

"I think, perhaps, if you work in America, the fees are still very good. But my life is here and I love British drama. "And, you know, there's still a part of me that would rather eat beans than find myself working in something that I didn't believe it. "Hermoine's comments are in an incomplete contrast to those she two years ago in an interview.

Asked then to name 'the temptation you wish you could resist', she replied, "Buying for a family of 10 when I'm in Waitrose. I'll happily spend an hour there and rack up a bill of £300."

She also named her prized possession as "the Aga on our home in Dorset. It cost £10,000 to put in 10 years ago, but it was worth every penny."

Hermoine is starring in the BBC's new series The Crimson Field© Photo: BBC
Hermoine is starring in the BBC's new series The Crimson Field

The actress — who has two children, Wilf, nine, and Hero, six, with her writer-producer husband Simon Wheeler — shot to fame in Cold Feet, which ran from 1998 until 2003, and has worked constantly since, in series including Wire In The Blood and Spooks. She is about to star in two new primetime BBC series; The Crimson Field, a period drama set in a First World War field hospital, and In The Club, which follows a group of mums-to-be. 

"I've been incredibly lucky to have worked consistently and in some really nice roles in a profession where you know that most actors don't work at all," Hermoine admitted.Her comments on pay echo those recently made by Jenny Agutter. "On Call The Midwife, I'd say my wage is perfectly comfortable, but if you spoke to my agent she'd say they ought to pay more," the 61-year-old said. "I do it to be part of a really good drama, not to make money. Spooks didn't pay well either."