Martin Lewis is a financial journalist, campaigner and broadcaster. His high-profile campaigns on bank charges, student finance, and mental health and debt have made headlines, and millions of people subscribe to his weekly money tips email. He founded the Money Saving Expert website in 2003 with just £100 and sold it less than a decade later for £87 million, although he calls himself an 'accidental entrepreneur'. He has since supported numerous groups and causes through charitable donations, most recently setting up a Coronavirus Poverty Emergency Fund to help small local charities. He has also campaigned for financial help and guidance for self-employed people who are unable to work during the current pandemic. Martin grew up in Cheshire and studied at the London School of Economics. After a brief spell working in financial PR, he took a postgraduate course in broadcast journalism with the aim of becoming a commentator on money matters, and he initially worked as a producer and presenter on radio and TV, DISC ONE: Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin DISC TWO: Stand and Deliver by Adam And The Ants DISC THREE: Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off by Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald DISC FOUR: The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell DISC FIVE: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones DISC SIX: The Blue Danube, composed by Johann Strauss II, conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent and performed by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra DISC SEVEN: I Fought the Lloyds by Oystar DISC EIGHT: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons BOOK CHOICE: A Game of Thrones: The Story Continues: The complete boxset of all 7 books (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin LUXURY ITEM: Solar powered electric carving knife CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Pvc sounds music. Radio broadcasts, hello, I'm when the Van and this is the desert island discs podcast. Every week I ask my guest to choose the eight tracks book and luxury they want to take with them if they were castaway to a desert island and for right reasons the music is shorter than the original broadcast. I hope you enjoy listening I my castaway this week is the financial experts tv presented on campaigner martin louis seventeen years ago. He founded the website money, saving expert, his panes on issues like money in mental health and court victories over bank charge,
and p p. I have made headline news: successful crews. Aids on behalf of the consumer has entered the nicknamed. The dumbledore of debt eighteen million of us receive his weekly money tips male out whether he still uses them himself is a question will get to later. He sold his as in money, saving expert back in twenty twelve for eighty, seven million pounds whilst Saving money may be second nature he's no scrooge. His charitable trust gives vast sums to good causes. Most recently, he set up a coronavirus poverty fund to help parties to continue to support those in need. Britain's financial, superhero has never been needed more, but all superheroes balloon or made. He says some people can hear a piece of music once and played on the piano. I'm quite lucky that I can look at the terms and conditions of a credit card and see how they work. It's not a sexy, but its useful moss india is welcome to desert island is far less sexy, so
and you call yourself an accidental entrepreneur. Why? Because I never set out to make money when I set it. Money saving expert dot com. I see myself as a journalist now a campaigning journalist and it was set up partially to promote my broadcasting- were work which started out on being to cardiff university done a postcard broadcast journalism. I was in trusted in personal finances and empowerment, and I set the website up to make that work originally. When I set it up, it had no way of making money and it was only when it got bigger and bigger in the cervical started to explode so that less costly A thousand pounds a month which, out of the freelance gently salary was, was a big. What that are struggling to afford? to find some way that it could pay for itself? I put these affiliate links on transparently, ethically giving p glenn alternative choice, always saying when it were. Never changing my editorial on the back of it:
and that was always something that was accidental. I didn't expect it was going to make quite the revenue it does or provide the amount of wealth that I now have. I suppose it goes back to journalism, school and everybody sat around and they all said what we wanted to do when the some brave people who wants to be war correspondents- and I talked about at the time- I'd like to be an expert on a show like this morning- And they looked at me and said why? Why do you want to talk about money? That- and the answer is quite simple, because when you watch those programmes, you know they have a psychiatric and they have the doctors a status in their head dresses of all of these people who make people's lives better. But you can't do anything if you don't have the money. If you want to start talking about how you truly affect people's lives. You put cash in their pocket to begin with, and that's the greatest form of you ve got in our society That's not all about the money today. Of course, it's all about the music on desert island discs, and it's time to hear about your first disk tell us
we're gonna here and why you ve chosen it on me to admit something here: That may be difficult. Foolishness of desert island discs to hear, but I've never really listened to. Music music has not been a big part of my life. I haven't really ever border record or a tape or see day until I had my daughter, but that was warm period, my life when music played a slightly more important role, because in my thirties I got ready into dancing which will surprise some people and I used to go probably dance fifteen twenty hours a week, papa dancing in our lives an swings in turns and spins and almost unbearable, quite good feet. Thank you very much and so welcome too
living ovida loca by breaking out ricky martin living a veto loca off to a flying start? Martin. Those thanks very much does a lot to dig in today ma we're gonna get to as much as we can. But, of course you know you skills are very much needed at the moment speaking in times of great financial insecurity for people, how busy have you been
to me. Like a date when I first set up the website- and I was on my own working ninety hours a week- completely focused and zone din and what I was doing and these days I don't work. I myself have a wonderful team. You know there's nearly a hundred people who work on money, saving, expert and I've got my tv team and on all the other teams I work we take, but I'm I'm fully back totally engage sitting at my desk seventy hours a week because, while its need it out it we're in an economic cataclysm as well as as well as the health issues we ve got economically, we ve never seen anything like it and the state is bought. Incredible support mechanisms in in a very short space of time, but a rigidly. I thought there are some people who were left between the cracks and now those cracks of tending to fishers, and we realise that there are large numbers of people. He won't supported not going to be supported, and I think that the work that I've done The last twenty years have been building almost up to this end.
Suddenly, here I am, I feel that this is position I was put in all the work done and the trust up built up and trying to do they. Suddenly, I find myself in a time where it really needed somebody who is outside of the westminster political bubble, but is still in touch with that boboland in touch with, what's going on with real people's lives, to be able to put that point across fine the information for them and fight the corner and social need has been very helpful for doing that. You now I've had well over a hundred thousand questions in the past five or six weeks by tv, all my other website, till the social media forum and just trying to bring the altogether to help people. It feels like a fully back omission. If you like, I don't have much longer. I can keep it.
Because I'm exhausted you used the word cataclysm martin. Where do you start with something like this? I'm thinking of our listeners in its home? What's the best advice that you have for people who are at home feeling vulnerable and worry, try now hope hope that it will get better. They talk in economic terms, about the graph and what we have to he's wearing a v. So a very sharp decline and a very steep rise at the back end of this. That will be financial casualties. People who lose their jobs, their livelihoods and it's very difficult to return, but we all have to hope. our society will return to normal, both in its health sense and in its financial sense, and that there will be enough care and consideration for everybody from the state and from our fellows in society to make things Martin, it's time to go to the music disk number two. What is it wisely chosen it today? If I try to think
the first song that I remembered, and it goes back to my primary school days. And there was a song in the playground, and it was all about the performance in the videos, it's when videos with just coming in, but we all used to sing together until it was really cool- and it sort of gives me memories of my my early days. So when people of my my type of asia remember this one atom in the act,
standard deliver added millions stand and deliver summa louis. You grew up in normally in rural cheshire and attended a jewish primary school together, particularly religious upbringing. You don't have a particular
many religious up bringing in the middle of cheshire when you jewish. But yes, my religion is an important part of my life and still is I'm a secular person with a religious bit on the side. If you like in hours, one of only two jews in my senior school when went onto later in that sense of being in a one of just two in your office cool? How did that impact on your agenda? See it's trusting time when you look back on it, because my nickname with jew It started off with jimmy leeway in lieu the jew and it became shortened to do, and I looked back now and I'm offended with my current environment, but it was just the way things were that I don't feel that was anti semitism are suffered a deliberate form of prejudice with just more than the way the nineteen seventeen nineteen eighteen worked. But all of that did cement my identity into me. I mean I went to a cathedrals.
And in the morning that were press and the with six hundred or whatever. It was boys in that school when everybody knelt down to do the lord's prayer, There were only a few of us who sat up bright and said nothing and that's quite formative, sitting up when everybody else in the room, when your twelve or thirteen is aiming down and saying something unusual saying nothing. Actually I do think there's a certain level of individuality that was educated in me that its o k to be different, and it's ok. not to do what everybody else says. You should do if it's not right for you, you with numbers from a young age. I know with your promise. Spotted school certainly was my junior school myself, another the boy were quite a long.
A hat and were but put on different work to others, and my dad was a headmaster, so that came out with it as well, and then he would pushes forward. I think I dunno my times tables when I'm full. If I remember correctly from what I've been told, I could do much stay well before we started school, and that was always something very easy, and I was probably my mental arithmetic was probably better when I was eight or nine than it is now mass was always something that was innate I never really saw the difficulty in it it's time for someone he's mine. What's next him, why went my little girl was younger Or to next door neighbours would both musical woman's an opera singer and the other was an actress who sang and they both heard sing when she was to a free and independent such pitch perfect. I wasn't sure what I meant, but I knew it was good and she's learning to play the keyboard at the moment to sing and do all that type of thing
one song just caught between the two of us that she thought with so much fun and it's a jew out between two people and its a great little funny thing: today, with with a child, when I shoulda music from the nineteenth these that we now sing silly together, so I have to take that to desert island. So this is louis Armstrong and other fitzgerald, let's call the whole thing: some data, don't take the time to debate. The matter is that we must then that breaks the camel's back. Pajamas
armstrong and elephants gerald. Let's call the whole thing off. So Marty lowest. Another good cause that you ve been involved in is a bereavement char, say, and you ve been working with them for a number of years. You lost your mom in a tragic accident. Just before you twelve burst in. Looking back at your younger yourself that little boy what sir, of cancelling might have helped you at the time having anything to my mom was one day she wasn't the next was it None of us knew how to deal with it and we will all stunted bite at the time when it was. This was nineteen. Eighty four you didn't half counselling certainly didn't have counselling and rural chechnya, and so we have to get up. That was the end of my childhood, ended on that day and struggle
very, very hard, as we all did for a long time and have still not over it just better at dealing with it. I'm not surprised- and I completely devastating thing to go through. I am I never went out until I was eighteen, never left the house couldn't leave the house. I wasn't at home, but have to my mom and I couldn't coat. We leaving the house because of the thought of something else could happen, and it was very difficult because whenever my friends at school we're going to parties when about fifteen sixty two meeting girls things like that, which I would like to do can cope with it. So I made up this lie that had a social life, because I went to a non juice, Gould had a jewish social life, and that's where I went, which was a complete lie ass about seventeen. I went to boys going on an under the girls on the couch, invited me to her party, which was rapidly to refer me, and I really really wants to go cosmic. That was delighted he was gonna drive me must all my stepmom was gonna drive me and they were gonna technical. While there was very happy
see me going out the house, but I honestly have no play what seventeen, what you wore for a party. Did you, whereas suit to dwell genes natasha? What did you want and I got myself into such a panic danzayemon about it. The and the end of the day I said I was feeling sick and at a model not feeling very well, then I think I can and I never went out to a party or the pub or anything until the left school. Eighty, and so I am, my life was very wasn't very happy. Might nature is at home. It sounds to me and from russia jason and listening to you talk It sounds to me like your perspective on yourself, then, and on that experience is changing. I mean I'm not getting close to opening up too much now, but Emily
staple tat to enunciate the fact that I did lose. My mother, I did lose my mother just before us twelve and that in a horrible horrible, why she was on the road and them an eye, maybe need to forgive. I think that some anger with self, my reaction for not being able to deal with it. Probably when I was young, given how I missed and throwing those years away and now now, as a father and I look back- and I was a little boy- that's a little boy struggling to deal with something that nobody should tat. Nobody should be dealing with a night. My let's take a break for some music. What weakening annexed, so the mixed song is almost a little bit of triumphal ism. I went to work on some camps in america and my holidays in university. I did it for times, and this was probably the thing the brought me out of the darkness and the malaise
It was when I started to promptly make friends were other things as well, but what probably make friends with people and have a social life and realise that life could be good an enjoyable and exciting and fund than you could tell jokes, and it was a wonderful time in my life and it was a jewish summer camp I went to a liberal jason, become much less religious orthodox and I have been used to growing up. Which has lots of nasal singing in the city. He broke Where is this was a female rabbi with it. Singing songs around an outdoor air with all the time. and I was one of the council's down with settled around on a friday night it, was a sum that we used to sing, and this was done by the kids so you're gonna harris of proper musical version, but the one that means more the members actually singing isa, with silly lyrics versions of it. It brings back the time and I think my life restarted, which was probably about
I was twenty says. This is almost an anthem of that for me, while this wasn't the version I listen taken, this is Johnny Mitchell and the cs, I join you may try and the circle game some Martin Lewis, after sixth form, you went to the london school of economics to study, government and law, and you said of the experience. I discovered that I had an inbuilt responsibility chip. What form did that tape?
I was always the one if you're going out a student's, he would check. Everyone was all and do all that type of thing. When you go from the life, I have a slight being flipped pancake that suddenly from everything being darkened down and depressing suddenly, I was just wanted to just experienced things to the full and nothing could hurt me and I was loud and you couldn't felt dismay and engaged in everything I could so very political, or at least was then a very political university Incredible experiences? You know I remember during the yugoslav conflict sitting a table in the whole of residence cost very overseas with talking as a serb and croats and an american and someone from china, stray leon and to people from germany and talking about that conflict with all these different perspectives, it was just from from a little boy from a forest. It was just or inspiring
when I was getting ready for the interview today, I was looking through some old photographs and cuttings, and I saw a really remarkable picture of you at lsc. Back in your time You and mick Jagger, both grinning You know the story behind its. How did you come to me ever see operated an honorary presidency system which was. I vote and in my year when I was general sexual president of the union, if you like, it was mother teresa, yitzhak rabin and mick jagger, and to all of us a prize mick Jagger who was promoted by the entertainment, sabbatical geico Gary Delaney he's not standard comic unease. A mate Gary propose mick Jagger mick Jagger one now mick Jagger had been at the alessi
pity to terms of accounting and finance, then left to produce music career, which I hear from his tutor, who is due to the times that you'll never make any money from this. But we are ready for you when you come back, he won and gary and I went, to meet him to present images on every presidency. Wembley stated when he was doing the concept and I was empowered by the sky will the other say to say that they had checked and his degree was still open and he was still welcome to combat unfinished it whenever he liked, and we checked it for about public forty, five minutes an hour until he sat up private gotta go into a constant. Now it was just one of those. marvelous experiences. Meeting mick Jagger, you're the age going to have wembley the stadium. We got to see the concert afterwards. We were in hospitality, we should very nice for students. They are very, very posh pocket grub. I remember at the time, and yet it was just fantastic disc number five. Mr president, let's go
satisfaction still the rolling stones and satisfaction. Martin Louis after leaving university. Your first job was in financial pr learning what you call the black heart. So I take it. I didn't see you, why not it wasn't? It didn't shoot me so much it just
felt. Naturally I was on the wrong side. I mean ninety percent of working. That firm was about keeping your clients out of the papers, not putting them into the papers. It was about. You know, looking at corporate messaging, it was one of the very big firms out there and it was a wonderful place to have worked to start to learn about how that corporate willed word, but he nightly. I felt I was on the wrong side and I was doing well there and they talked about me having a stroke future that which is one of the reasons I left. So I need to go before the salary gets too big to account quit, and I know that well we're doing stands up to kind of relieve. The tedium, I think, was the expression, the quote from you that I saw it was exactly what I was doing. We brought standard club to well say, while we were that mainly Gary and I teamed up with Gary and he wrote that makes it did all right. Second in the hackney unpack new contest. I won the comedy caffeine. You up to the year went on with Harry hill in that type of stuff, but I knew stunned wasn't really for me.
what was the grand plan, then you, you did go back and do broadcast journalism at cardiff university after in pr and doing the stand up. It was there an aspiration to make in tv and been from the camera. Was that what you wanted, but was part of it, it seemed to be the good mix between the stand. Up and the financial pr, if you like, being broadcast journalist the ability to go out there. talk and communicate and get the message across, but still working within a serious genre. When did it become clear, you that it? It was something that was gonna change, people's lives and impact people's experiences yeah. I knew that the personal fine on stuff impact on people's lives, and that is still something really important. it started to become more than that in around two thousand and four two thousand and five. Two things happened around that one with the bank charges campaign, which was huge and really started to explain why,
korea is astounding, template net is online, sounds ready, felt school now, but the work many people doing that, like the template, let's go back judged reclaiming imminent, was six million of them sent you coupled with meeting and friend of a friend who was a mental health casework who told me how much Of my website and tat, he said: oh you don't have made some appliance now that finances are awful under spend most my time, helping them and realising just how prevalent money problems where the people with mental health issues, and that's when I, like this method, it's time to go to the music mine watson, next, and why so we talked tent comedy before and not just the driving a funny memory. If you like I just have a couple of things that I would do involving music. One was I would come in with huge, false eyebrows, and I would play ironically enough music and make my eyebrows dance in time, because I have been blessed with independent movement of either I
just ass. The other thing I date is I used to play a song. using my nose and ere, I can give you a tiny bit of it now as an introduction to the maximum. Please do yes, claymores! Thank is this agenda under this first, I'm just gonna take believe me. I know how to do this and genuinely it is my nose in asia. yeah yeah I won't do anymore I'll, just introduce the blue down you
the blue danube works by Johan strives, performed by the royal philharmonic orchestra conducted by welcome sergeant upon from motion loses knows, work which was on his own, your average a hugely trusted, position occupy a very trusted place and in the public psyche. Second, only to the queen, according to some poles, as the murders which draw lieutenant, but in twenty eighteen you, the victim of scam, adverts on facebook, maybe using your picture. What was your reaction when you first realised what was happening? was pretty horrible. To be honest, the first nay, really notified, as they were scam, so these include bitcoin trade and nothing to do with bitcoin. I just scams using the get rich, quick idea, bitcoin, and these adverts promised the I backed it. I made all my money from it and I'll give you the money back. If you lost anything and we had an old gentleman who got in touch,
very angry with me, asking where is money was and then when we found out what was going on in, we wanted to give kivus his details so that we could help him, and that is quite angry and said. Why would I give you details you scammer so bit of a slap in the face when you spent yoke with so advanced paranoia, not to do anything wrong, which is how life to have somebody treat you that way, and that was the tip of the iceberg. Is people will know not wasn't what I particularly wanted to spend my time doing, but we started the scam campaign that resulted in misgiving facebook, which is one of the things I settled in a very good. You'll get flat for these. Why did just settle hope? Because I've been advised my lawyers that had a gun to cool? I might have one fifty grand and I should say This is always a campaigning lawsuit. I always said I'd never take any the proceeds, and I settled for three million pounds. Donation to set up citizens advice, scam, action which has one among facilities to support people being scammed during the press is being scammed and the uk,
has on facebook, the first scam reporting button. So if you see a scam out, you can press a button and report it which does exist on facebook anywhere else in the world martin, it's time to take a break for some music and I believe that this next choice takes us back to another happy court result for you tell us what were to hear and why well, it wasn't I could result. But I was known as the big gulping chief of the campaign against bank charges on fat bank charges for busting your overdraft limit, horrendous things. You know people who did know they got over the limit spent, he quit on shopping seven shops and going got a thirty five pound fine for each one that they were then unable to pay. So they had just on the charges, it was a form of financial entrapment, abandoned came to me said we written a song about bank charges and you're in it. The last answer, and we decided we would release it as a single one week before the release in the january, some in the december the chart company made an announcement. It didn't meant
it is by name o me by name. It said due to protest, songs, attempting to rig the chart system on paraphrasing. We are changing it. So that is not the number of down those that have been paid for that counts, but the number of tracks that actually downloaded So, even though, with clearly sold enough to be number one in the charts recess, it would have been an amazing protest. We actually got in, but only number twenty seven, but we did get a top forty out of it. So if I may proudly introduce oyster featuring Martin louis,
playing the track. I thought the loi, but my life so much better. When I looked around and saw him lady, let us against the bank's signed physician outside Europe who come on you're buying gamma saw cash is only one thing in the week as a back, then they went to sell their listening. Thank you. Thank you, boys down, and I thought the lloyd's martin nervous I'm about to cast you away on a desert island. How will you cope with the boredom I'll have to find myself a task? I mean I'm not partake they go to physical work and deny why. But I will have to learn and I will have to continue to improve on it. You write and build a home there. I think I will just have to find constantly things to get busy and if not I'll, just have to find an injured animals to help us
thing out at night, you ve been married for ten years and years devoted father. We can clearly here. How will you get on in your own company on the island to gas? The thing that won't work? You know about my wife and my daughter- that's total misery. I can coat without anything else, but not without them. This is a great theoretical exercise, but that's the way. much this just time for one more disk before we cast your way martinets. What's it going to be what I had a choice earlier for my daughter, so I couldn't have something that didn't remind me at my wife when we started going out in the days when I wish you would allow me to do this and banned now, since we had a child, I'm not allowed to write. most back anymore, but we would occasionally high remote bite when they're on holiday and we'd sit there and with sing a song in the sun. On the back of my pet backfiring helmets banks. I should note so this was the first song that we tend to do at all wedding.
and so therefore this is the song for my wife and it's Frankie Valli and the four seasons Take my eyes off. If you just too good to be true, can at last love god, you just can't the valley and the forces and with can't take my eyes off you so mind there is. I am sending you away with three books, the bible or the Torah. If you prefer the complete works of shakespeare and one of your choosing what will it be? It's a very deep
liberally, mercenary choice. Most of my reading tends to be escapism. I, like historic, novels of science, fantasy now, isn't my favorites, in a fantasy novel, but he is the biggest. So I've never actually watch the programmes, but if I am allowed the complete collection of game of thrones, it's fun. thousand pages is in the right. John brown and I think it's one of those series you could re read a few times and just take up at a time of that sum, gonna go so that the complete game of thrones, if that's elapsed, I'm going to say yes and allow it. I know you're probably find a loophole anyway, even if I know so, I'm going to wave that through and move on to your luxury, something that will make your time on the island. A bit more bearable. What would you like? This has been very difficult, choosing a luxury, my favorite gadget at home that I use all the time is an electric carving nice. I use it for cutting bread. I use it for cutting broccoli into nice, thin strips
I tend to press it to when the eye of the tiger song made my daughter put only about two cars. Something so am I This is so. If I'm only ireland cause you're not allowed, there has to be a luxury. So it's a luxury for cutting food. I'd like a solar powered one. Obviously, but I also thought I might sneakily be able to use its impractical. You cutting through some branches. Tight stuff was well while another luxury com be practical. Designer accident is a luxury just for cutting food. If I happen, Occasionally, for it to drop out of my hand, fallen, cut a branch and necessarily than that wouldn't be the primary intentions, I'm going for an electric carvingknife solar panel. Thank you very much, mrs outcome. Gonna pick, and I didn't hear the other thing that you just said and say fur.
Look, she really see decidedly renewal either as well and finally, which one of these discs would you save above the others. If you are forced to do so so clearly, the choice would be between the sum for my wife and the song from a daughter, and I cant use between the two of them. So, in the end on gonna go back to the first track, because it's quite Joyce, it made me dance and we ve done strand the house, the three of us added to this song. So I'm going back, let's take Ricky Marty, nothing! If you need a left unita left out you in on a desert island. You will not give you a lift, martin, Thank you very much for letting us here. Your does island discs. Thank you. hi,
I hope you really enjoy that podcast with Martin louis. We have cast away many other campaigners and economists to our island, including dame s to ransom and day minutiae, fake. You can find them Ok by searching the desert island discs website and also through BBC sounds join me next time. When I'll be talk, to the fitness instructor and healthy eating expert Joe wicks, I find one's next confusing hello, I'm frank ox and I'm rotates and the infinite monkey cages back for new series, and we have seen with so many fantastic ideas and even better- no one we ve lost he's, got an alibi for getting out during the show. So in this series we have got where the first episode alone we took at the end of the universe, withdrawing green katy mac.
idle and steve melted. Yes, you heard that steve, martin and Erika idle a joint, anyway, enjoy the new series we're having a fantastic ta, make me brides, particular enjoying it, because he's hundreds miles away from me and then just using technology to create some sense of proximity. That's the great thing about it, all! That's the end, monday cage on BBC sounds, but not now means no unique definition of Madame similar tonight is relative, some big sands and unless you ve gone back around me, means from basic com. I believe that one thing alone and maybe there's a rat wage.
Transcript generated on 2022-06-08.