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Martin Lewis' Biography

Full details on the Money Saving Expert

Martin LewisMartin Lewis OBE, Money Saving Expert, is an award-winning campaigning TV and radio presenter, newspaper columnist, author and, according to Google, the most searched-for British man.

An ultra-specialised journalist who focuses on cutting bills without cutting back, he founded MoneySavingExpert.com in 2003 for £100 and remains its full-time Editor-in-Chief. It's now the UK's biggest money site, with more than 14 million monthly users and 10 million signed up to receive the Martin's Money Tips email.

He has his own prime-time ITV programme – The Martin Lewis Money Show – and is resident expert on This Morning, Good Morning Britain and BBC Radio 5 Live's Consumer Panel, among others. He is also a columnist for national newspapers, with regular slots in The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mirror.

Martin is often credited as the "big gob in chief" behind campaigns to reclaim Bank Charges, PPI and Council Tax, with more than 10 million template letters downloaded and many billions of pounds repaid. He was also at the forefront of the successful campaign to get financial education into schools. According to Google, he was yet again the UK’s most searched British man in 2013.

Martin was appointed OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in June 2014. Other awards he's received include Consumer Journalist of the Year and Citizens Advice Consumer Champion.

He has featured prominently in The Sunday Times (Giving) Rich List for the last two years, entering at No. 5 in 2013 after donating £11.1 million to charity. He has also appeared in the ‘charity and campaigning’ section of the Top 500 most influential people in the UK. Martin is the founder and patron of the MSE Charity, which has so far helped connect more than £200,000 in grants with consumer finance education charities.

In 2012, MoneySavingExpert.com joined the MoneySupermarket group, and Martin used some of the proceeds to set up a £10 million charity fund. The first £1 million was donated to Citizens Advice – other donations since have included to PFEG, Mind and the Trussell Trust, with the aim being to focus on Martin’s passions for financial education and improving mental health and debt policy. See Martin's What's happening to my £10m to charity? blog.

Outside the world of money, Martin was a Celebrity Mastermind champion in 2012, won £150,000 on Celebrity Millionaire (which was donated to the CAB) and regularly appears on Countdown's Dictionary Corner.

Martin averages more than 400 points a game at Scrabble although, sadly, he scores similarly at golf. In his spare time he does a bit of rock n' roll-esque dancing, supports Manchester City, loves The Big Bang Theory (Bazinga!) and is an athletics track and field stats nerd.

Martin is a governor of the London School of Economics and he has an honorary doctorate from Chester University.

Surely that's enough info for anyone - but if you want really nerdy details - read on.

The background stuff...

Martin is 42 years old, was born in Manchester, grew up in Cheshire's Delamere Forest and now lives in north-west London with his wife Lara.

He first moved to London to study Government and Law at the LSE, where he spent a year as general secretary (president) of the students' union. After graduating, he went to work 'for the other side' as a City spin doctor in financial public relations, while dabbling in stand-up comedy in his spare time to "relieve the tedium".

He later returned to university – this time to study a practical postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism at Cardiff University. This led to a staff job in the BBC's Business Unit, where he worked on personal finance and business programmes. He spent time as a business editor at Radio 4's Today programme, and later reported for BBC1, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live.

Martin left the BBC on 31 December 1999 to go to a small, now-defunct digital television channel called Simply Money, which is where he first became the 'Money Saving Expert'.

Since then he has not only become a familiar face on British TV, but also had his own one-man West End show, MoneySaving Live, and on a really silly note, had a featuring credit in a Top 40 chart hit, I Fought The Lloyds.

Watch Martin's 'life story'

Courtesy of ITV1's Lorraine

TV, radio, books and newspaper stuff

As well as creating, running and writing this site, Martin is phenomenally busy with other media work. His current portfolio of regular work includes:

  • The Martin Lewis Money Show, ITV
    Martin's prime-time show aims to save people £1,000s. Series four will air on Fridays from 28 November 2014 to 13 February 2015.

  • This Morning, Mondays, ITV
    Martin talks MoneySaving each Monday with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby (now on maternity leave) on This Morning, presenting top deals and ways to save.

  • The Money Vault, This Morning, Fridays, ITV
    Are the rich and famous brave enough to enter the vault where Martin interrogates their finances?

  • Good Morning Britain, Thursdays, ITV
    After a number of years with GMTV, Martin carried straight over to the Daybreak team and then Good Morning Britain, where he presents a Deals of the Week segment.

  • The Consumer Panel, Thursdays, 12 noon, BBC Radio 5 Live
    Every Thursday Martin joins Shelagh Fogarty's show to debate the week's money stories.

  • Daily Telegraph, Woman and other columns
    Martin has a monthly column in The Daily Telegraph, a bi-weekly column in the Sunday Mirror, appears fortnightly in Woman magazine, and has a syndicated column in a range of regional newspapers, including the Manchester Evening News and the Jewish Chronicle.

As well as these regular slots, Martin's constantly interviewed and appears on a range of news and current affairs programmes.

Former TV and newspaper stuff

In the past Martin has had a number of TV series and newspaper columns. These include:

  • News of the World column
    Martin had his own weekly campaigning page in the News of the World with his main column, plus tips of the week and a reader Q&A.

  • Martin Lewis' It Pays To Watch, Channel 5
    Martin presented three series of this prime-time MoneySaving show on Channel 5. The live-format show aimed to jam as much MoneySaving as possible into half an hour – at the speed he talks, that's serious content.

  • Tonight, ITV
    For five years Martin was a regular presenter of ITV's flagship Tonight current affairs programme, bringing detailed half-hour MoneySaving shows and exposes to a prime-time ITV audience.

  • Make Me Rich, ITV
    Martin's first TV series was Make Me Rich, a money makeover show where he was challenged to save families as much as possible in just one day. The average saving over the series was more than £5,000 per family.

Martin's also had columns in The Sunday Times, The Guardian and Sunday Express, and was a regular on ITV's morning show Lorraine.

Click here to find the MoneySaving books cheapest The MoneySaving Books...

Martin's books The Money Diet, Three Lessons and Thrifty Ways have all been bestsellers.

The second edition of The Money Diet followed in the footsteps of the first edition by topping the Amazon Best Sellers list. It trumped titles by Jamie Oliver and Sharon Osbourne to hit the top spot, and stayed there for more than two weeks.

Profiles and other stuff written about Martin

Many profiles have been written about Martin in the papers. Those still available online have been included here – though please don't believe everything you read. As always with these things, some are riddled with inaccuracies, but we've included 'em anyway.

The stuff on his showreel...

A showreel is a tape sent to TV producers to show them how a broadcaster is on air.

It's been a long time since Martin sent one out, so this dates back to 2006, but it's an easy way to get a quick look at him on air. Also see MoneySaving Live, the MSE YouTube channel, funny money videos and the Good Morning Britain Martin Lewis section.

Watch Martin's showreel

(c.2006)