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Martin Lewis' Biography

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Martin Lewis OBE, the nodepositcodes.us, founded this website in 2003 and is currently its Executive Chair. He's an award-winning campaigning journalist, TV and radio presenter, newspaper columnist, charity founder, author and according to Google, the UK's most searched-for British man.

Born in Manchester in 1972, Martin grew up in Cheshire's Delamere Forest and now lives in London with his wife, BBC Click presenter Lara (aka Mrs MSE), and three-year-old daughter Sapphire (aka mini MSE). If you fancy a bit of colour, read Lucy Kellaway's Financial Times profile of Martin, to stick to the core facts, read on…

Founder & Chair, MoneySavingExpert.com

Martin set up this site in his living room in 2003 for £100. With a focus on how to cut your bills without cutting back, it soon saw explosive growth (see MSE's history). It is now the UK's biggest consumer site with over 15 million monthly users and 12 million who asked to receive the weekly Money Tips email.

In 2016 he moved from Editor-in-Chief to a new role as MSE's Executive Chair overseeing the site, focusing on journalism and content-quality, ethics, strategy and creativity.

Television, Radio & Print

The prime-time ITV The Martin Lewis Money Show is due to start series six in Nov 2016. Martin's also the resident expert on This Morning (Mon & Fri), Good Morning Britain (Thu) and BBC Radio 5 Live's Lunch Money Martin (Mon). He has regular columns in The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Mirror and a syndicated column published by over 56 regional newspapers and magazines.

Current Main Broadcasting


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Founder & Chair, The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute

In 2016 Martin founded and funded a new charity, the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, to research, lobby and innovate policies to try to break the toxic relationship between mental health issues and debt. Run by former No.10 special adviser Polly Mackenzie, with seven full-time staff, it's already impacting the way policymakers think about this issue.

Campaigns

Martin is often credited as the "big gob in chief" behind campaigns to reclaim bank charges, PPI and council tax. More than 10 million of his template letters have been downloaded and possibly (it's tough to calculate) over £10 billion repaid. In 2014 he was the lynchpin of the successful campaign to get financial education onto the national curriculum and still works with the All Party Parliamentary Group pushing to improve provision.

Unflinching from controversy, as the former head of the Independent Taskforce on Student Finance Information he's berated the Government over retrospective student loan hikes, and pushed the plight of mortgage prisoners. He's often called for meetings with ministers and shadow ministers and to give select committee evidence on a wide range of topics.

Martin Lewis' life lecture, BBC 1 The One Show, aired Tuesday 3 January 2017, 7pm...

Charity Fund: Citizens Advice, Foodbanks, Financial Ed

In 2012 MSE joined the MoneySupermarket group, and Martin used some of the proceeds to set up a £10 million charity fund.

As well as the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, major projects include £2 million to Citizens Advice; launching 'financial triage' at Trussell Trust foodbanks; and funding Pfeg (the Personal Finance Education Group) to provide three years of 'My Money Week' in most UK schools.

In 2008, Martin launched The MSE Charity, and is still its patron. It has so far helped connect more than £660,000 in small grants to local consumer finance and education charities.

Accolades & positions of responsibility

Martin was appointed OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours IMAGE ALTlist in June 2014.

Before the EU referendum, scores of polls named Martin as the UK's most trusted voice, and by the end of the campaign he was the only person still trusted by supporters of both sides. Martin's How to vote in the EU referendum guide was read over one million times.

He is a governor of the London School of Economics (LSE), and has featured in The Sunday Times Giving List for the last four years, most recently entering at No. 39 in April 2016. He is listed in the new media section of the UK's 500 most influential people 2015 and the charity section of the 500 most influential people 2014.

He's also been Consumer Journalist of the Year and Citizens Advice Consumer Champion and has honorary doctorates from Open University, Chester University and Leeds Beckett.

Author

Martin's main book, written earlier in his career, The Money Diet, twice topped the Amazon bestsellers list. He is also editor of Thrifty Ways, a book written of the wisdom of the MSE forums, and Three Lessons.

Outside the world of money

Martin is an athletics stats nerd fan, and always wanted to be a commentator as a teenager. In 2016 he fulfilled a lifelong ambition and started in-field presenting at major athletics events including the Olympic trials and the London Anniversary Games.

He regularly appears in Countdown's Dictionary Corner. He also likes quizzes, was a Celebrity Mastermind champion in 2012, won £150,000 on Celebrity Millionaire (which was donated to Citizens Advice) and captained the LSE team (which lost on a tie-break) in Celebrity University Challenge 2015.

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Back in 2009 he even had his own one-man West End show, MoneySaving Live, and a featuring credit in a Top 40 chart hit, I Fought The Lloyds.

A fan of spreadsheets, he averages more than 407 points a game at Scrabble although, sadly, he scores similarly at golf. He runs regularly to "manage the stress" and is aiming to do 2,000 km in 2017. His record 10km time is 48:27 set in 2016 (80% slower than Mo Farah).

Martin counts his steps too, averaging over 21,000 a day, and he tries to walk everywhere (see his fitness tracker stats).

In his spare time he used to do a bit of rock n' roll-esque dancing (before the knees struggled). He supports Manchester City, and loves The Big Bang Theory (Bazinga!).

What did Martin Lewis do before MoneySaving?

He first moved to London from Cheshire, aged 19, to study Government and Law at the LSE, where he spent time dabbling in student politics, then a year as general secretary (president) of the students' union – where he also was chosen as a UK representative at the UN World Youth Leaders conference in Seoul, South Korea.

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 'nodepositcodes.us'.

What others say about Martin…

Many profiles have been written about Martin in the papers. Those still available online, good or bad, have been included here – though as always with these things, some are riddled with inaccuracies, but we've included 'em anyway.


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