Born in Manchester, Martin Lewis 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 London School of Economics and Political Science, where he spent a year as president of the Students’ Union. After graduating, he went to work in financial public relations.
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 the eve of the Millennium to go to a small, now-defunct digital television channel called Simply Money, which is where he first became the ‘Money Saving Expert’.
He now 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 Sunday Mirror.
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 and after wise investing the fund is now worth in excess of £15m.
He was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2014. Other awards he has received include Consumer Journalist of the Year and Citizens Advice Consumer Champion.
His passion for educating others on financial matters has only grown stronger and in 2016 he launched and founded the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, which conducts research and develops policy proposals to improve the lives of those with mental health conditions and financial problems on the basis that a quarter of people with a mental health problem have problem debts, too, and half of those in debt crisis have a mental health problem. Martin is also founder and patron of the Money Saving Expert Charity, which provides grants to groups to provide education and information about consumer and debt issues; and funds five general charities nominated by users of the moneysavingexpert site.
Leeds Beckett University Chancellor, Sir Bob Murray CBE, said: “Martin Lewis is a household name who has impacted, helped and made a difference to the lives of millions of people, not only with his expert financial, money-saving advice, but through the charities he has founded.
“His ethos provides great inspiration to our students and graduates alike, proving that if you work hard, remain driven and believe in your skills, ideas and yourself, that you can, and will be a success and we are delighted to recognise Martin’s work with this Honorary Doctorate.”
The full list of honorary degrees to be awarded by Leeds Beckett University is:
Monday 25 July, 11am – Stephanie Hirst, Hon Doctorate of the University. Stephanie is an award-winning radio DJ, TV presenter, broadcaster and an icon of the UK transgender community.
Monday 25 July, 5pm – Jason Gillespie, Hon Doctorate of Sport Science. Jason is First team coach at Yorkshire County Cricket Club. He was part of a golden era for Australian cricket, taking 402 wickets for his country in all forms of international cricket.
Tuesday 26 July, 11am – Martin Lewis OBE, Hon Doctorate of Arts. Martin is the founder of MoneySavingExpert.com and an award-winning TV and radio presenter.
Tuesday 26 July, 2pm – Peter Smith MBE, Hon Doctorate of Sport Science. Peter is the former Manager of the Leeds Sports Development Team at Leeds City Council and the figurehead behind many of Leeds’s great sporting events.
Tuesday 26 July, 5pm – Jason Davidson, Hon Doctorate of Sport Science. Jason is Head of Athletic Performance at Leeds Rugby. He has established himself as one of the leading conditioners in British sport.
Tuesday 26 July, 5pm – Harry Jepson OBE, Hon Doctorate of Education. Harry is the President of Leeds Rhinos and Chairman of the Rugby League Conference.
Wednesday 27 July, 11am – Richard Demarco CBE, Hon Doctorate of Arts. Richard is a British artist and patron of European visual and performing arts.
Wednesday 27 July, 2pm – Professor Paul Rogers, Hon Doctorate of Laws. Paul is Global Security Consultant to Oxford Research Group and a Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University.
Wednesday 27 July, 5pm – Professor Nick Hardwick CBE, Hon Doctorate of Laws. Nick is the former Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons, taking responsibility for providing independent scrutiny of detention in England and Wales.
Thursday 28 July, 11am – Colin Glass, Hon Doctorate of Business Administration. Colin is a chartered accountant and was a founding partner of his practice, Winburn Glass Norfolk (‘WGN’) in 1975.
Thursday 28 July, 2pm – Lou McGrath OBE, Hon Doctorate of Laws. Lou is founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Nobel Peace Prize medallist.
Thursday 28 July, 5pm – Martyn Moxon, Hon Doctorate of Sport Science. Martyn is Director of Cricket at Yorkshire County Cricket Club. In a playing career for Yorkshire spanning 17 seasons, he scored 21,161 first class runs.
Thursday 28 July, 5pm – Liv Garfield, Hon Doctorate of Business Administration. Liv is CEO of Severn Trent Water and one of the youngest women ever to lead a FTSE 100 company.