Martin Lewis is the no-nonsense financial journalist familiar to fans of This Morning and Good Morning Britain. But on Sunday, Martin took part in All Star Musicals alongside other famous faces, in a bid to be crowned the next West End rising star. The doting dad had previously said he was doing it for his daughter, revealing: "I don't listen to music. I don't sing. I've never been in a choir. And I've said no to lots of TV talent show type programmes. Yet my little girl loves musicals, and so I've been watching them with her; and when I mentioned that I'd been asked to do All Star Musicals, she got very excited." Martin added: "I love my little girl, and I love a challenge. So I'm going to try and take my vocal chords to places they've never been before!"
Apart from his TV credits, Martin is also the founder of moneysavingexpert.com, the leading financial advice website. He was awarded an OBE in 2014 for services to consumer rights and charitable services. According to The Sunday Times, Martin is worth a staggering £125 million, ranking at 912 on their 2018 Rich List. Here's everything you need to know about the money mogul and how he came into the big bucks...
Born in 1972 to a well-off Jewish family, Martin's childhood was spent in affluent areas of south Manchester, such as Withington and Didsbury. The family eventually moved to Cheshire, where his father was a head teacher, with Martin attending King's School in Chester, where fees come to £4,500 a term.
Martin is known for his segments on This Morning and Good Morning Britain
Martin's life changed forever in his pre-teens, with tragedy striking as his mother, Susan Lewis, was killed in a car accident two days before his 12th birthday. The death deeply affected Martin, who admits that he never dealt with the trauma. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live in 2018, the TV pundit said: "It was all very sudden. None of us expected it. It's still something I don't like talking about. It's too painful to talk about." Martin has called the event "one of the building blocks of who I am," crediting it as the reason behind his driven personality.
Getting an education
Leaving the north for London at the age of 19, Martin moved to the city to study Government and Law at the prestigious London School of Economics, describing the transfer as a "daunting experience". On his time studying, he said that the university "gave me the opportunity to build political opinions, to debate and, of course, to party". Serving as president of the student's union in the year after graduation and representing the UK at the UN World Youth Leaders', Martin got a feel for life in the public eye and after a brief stint working as a spin doctor in financial PR, he returned to education to study for a postgraduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism at Cardiff University in 1997. Through this course he made connections at the BBC and swiftly rose through the ranks upon graduating, going from business reporter to editor across TV and radio.
Martin was awarded an OBE for services to consumer rights and charitable services
Martin's primary economic venture is moneysavingexpert.com, a financial advice website started in the early 2000s. When appearing on now defunct TV channel Simply Money, the financial commentator earned the title of 'Money Saving Expert' and a few years later, decided to turn his nickname into a business. Starting the company with a mere £100, the website soon became the most trusted place on the internet for financial tips. In 2012, he sold the company to comparison website moneysupermarket.com, taking home £60m in stocks and shares.
Now, Martin has returned to his broadcast journalism roots as a mainstay figure offering cash-savvy commentary. A regular face on This Morning and Good Morning Britain, where he answers financial queries, Martin has even landed his own self-titled programme, The Martin Lewis Money Show. Airing Mondays at 8pm on ITV 1, the factual programme sees Martin offer money saving tips to consumers alongside fellow presenter Angelica Bell.
Angelica Bell and Martin present The Martin Lewis Money Show
Using money to do good lies at the core of Martin's ethos and he commits to this principle through his philanthropy. In honour of his mother, he is a patron of Grief Encounter, a charity that helps children through bereavement. Inspired to take on the role after seeing a friend's child helped by the charity, the TV presenter said: "One in 30 children have a parent die before they're 18. And it's such a horrible thing that none of us likes to think about it. But it has such a massive impact on your life."
Martin is also a vocal supporter and campaigner for Citizens Advice, winning £150,000 for the help network on the celebrity edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. After selling moneysavingexpert.com in 2012, Martin donated £10m to charity, with £1m going to Citizens Advice "in keeping with the site's aims". Continuing this commitment to consumer rights, Martin founds and funds the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, researching and lobbying policy to better protect consumers. Through this charity, he has led the successful fight to get financial education on the school curriculum, whilst also helping millions reclaim unfair bank charges and insurance payments and putting pressure on regulators to tighten controls on payday lenders.
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