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Fiona Phillips tells of her debt hell and Gaby Roslin recalls living on £5 a week as they prepare to front new savvy shopping TV show

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 09/06/2018 Bridie Pearson-Jones

Fiona Phillips standing posing for the camera: Presenters Gaby Roslin and Fiona Phillips (pictured together) are set to star in a new show about saving shoppers money © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Presenters Gaby Roslin and Fiona Phillips (pictured together) are set to star in a new show about saving shoppers money Fiona Phillips and Gaby Roslin have spoken of their pre-fame days of scrimping and saving ahead of their new TV show that encourages savvy shopping.

The pair will be teaming up to present an upcoming Channel 5 show, Shop Smart: Save Money.

Gaby Roslin, who rose to fame presenting the Big Breakfast with Chris Evans, told the Mail of her days as a student on just '£5 a week'.

'When I was a student, I had £5 a week to live off' she said.

'I came out of college in debt. Mind you, I had a grant. It's even harder these days because you're automatically in debt. You come out owing more than £30,000.'

a woman sitting at a table: Gaby Roslin and Mariam Mola on 'Lorraine' TV show which she guest presents © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Gaby Roslin and Mariam Mola on 'Lorraine' TV show which she guest presents Even now, she says she still can't scatter the cash. 'I have bills to pay like everyone else. Mortgage, gas, electricity, water, car. We all do.'

Fiona, who's married to TV producer Martin Frizell, with whom she has two sons, Nathaniel, 19, and Mackenzie, 16, also says she's experienced financial issues, in her case proper bailiffs-on-the-doorstep hardship.

The former GMTV presenter says she got into such debt in her early 20s that she received two county court judgements.

'My parents weren't well off and I was brought up thriftily. My mum would buy things at M&S, wear them and take them back, so we were always in the queue for refunds. But when I was a student and also working in factories, I went overdrawn.

'The banks have always been unsympathetic – the more you're in debt, the more they put you in debt. I ended up getting county court judgements because I couldn't find my way out of debt, no matter how hard I was working.'

a person wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited It has left her with a very pragmatic approach to money, including spending on her sons. 'People assume they go to private school. They don't. We live in a nice house, yes, but they don't get any money unless they deserve it or earn it.

'We've got Chelsea season tickets, but I only got two between the four of us because I didn't want them to feel entitled to having a ticket to every game. I don't want them to think life is easy. 

Their new money show is in fact all about shopping. Shop Smart: Save Money shows viewers how to be more canny with the cash, and not get fleeced. 

Fiona Phillips, Eamonn Holmes are posing for a picture: Fiona Phillips and Eamonn Holmes on 'Good Morning Britain' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Fiona Phillips and Eamonn Holmes on 'Good Morning Britain' It teaches us how to maximise savings on coupons, and exposes tricks the big retailers use to get us to part with our cash.

After being involved on the show, Fiona's already been sharing her new-found knowledge on her own shopping trips. 'I was in Waitrose the other day getting chicken breasts in sauce. They were on a three-for-two offer and a woman reached over me saying she was getting three. I said, 'You'll end up not using one', and she said she'd put it in the freezer. But I looked and it said 'not suitable for freezing'. 

'That's the problem – people think they're getting a bargain, when they're not. There's no such thing as a bargain in a supermarket. This programme is about how to get around their little schemes.'

'Of course my sons say, 'It's not fair, we don't get anything', but hopefully it will be character building.'

She giggles. 'Although it might work the other way and they start robbing.' 

a man sitting in front of a crowd of people: Gaby, 53, has a long list of telly ¿husbands¿, who¿ve included Chris Evans (pictured) and Terry Wogan © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Gaby, 53, has a long list of telly ¿husbands¿, who¿ve included Chris Evans (pictured) and Terry Wogan Gaby admits succumbing to a three-for-two offer recently. 'Now I'm working on the show, I realise people are completely fleecing us. It's disgusting really. I fell for it the other day.

'My daughter was in an athletics competition and needed gear and they had a three-for-two so I ended up picking up three things when she needed only one. I'd fallen into the trap. We all do.'

Gaby says the show isn't about not spending, it's about spending well. She says she'd shop for clothes every day if she could, and her wardrobe is groaning with designer gear – but her biggest pleasure is to find an item she loves at a bargain price.

Gaby Roslin, Fiona Phillips are posing for a picture: Their new money show is all about shopping. Shop Smart: Save Money shows viewers how to avoid being fleeced when they are out and about © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Their new money show is all about shopping. Shop Smart: Save Money shows viewers how to avoid being fleeced when they are out and about 'I shout loud and proud about it. I've got a pair of high-heeled ankle boots that everyone, even people like Melissa Odabash and Kelly Hoppen, has gone on about.'

Melissa and Kelly are fashion and interior designers. 'The boots are fierce; I love them. But they cost £10 in a market in Italy.'

Fiona, by contrast, hates shopping for clothes. 'I find it soul-destroying. I hate changing rooms mostly. They're never well lit.

a person standing posing for the camera: Refuting rumours that she has earned millions, Gaby says: ¿When I was a student, I had £5 a week to live off¿ © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Refuting rumours that she has earned millions, Gaby says: ¿When I was a student, I had £5 a week to live off¿ Fiona Phillips posing for a picture: Both presenters have lived on the breadline and Fiona says she's experienced proper bailiffs-on-the-doorstep hardship © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Both presenters have lived on the breadline and Fiona says she's experienced proper bailiffs-on-the-doorstep hardship  'The mirrors always represent you in a way you don't see yourself. And I never have time. So I end up doing it all online, but then you have the hassle of sending stuff back.'

 The pair also touched on the gender pay gap in the wide-ranging interview. 

'I never asked what anyone earned; I never knew there was a disparity,' says Gaby. 'When I did I was shocked.' 

Fiona adds, 'I knew Eamonn was being paid more, and he had his own PA. But he'd been doing it for a few more years, so he had more experience, so I wasn't going to make waves.'

And what about these two women, with a similar length of time in the business: are they earning the same? 

'It's not my business what Fiona earns,' Gaby laughs. 'I presume we're being paid the same, but I'd never ask.'   

Shop Smart: Save Money, Wednesday, 8pm, Channel 5.

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