We're used to hearing Money Saving Expert front man Martin Lewis talk about how to save on mortgages, pensions and credit cards.
But in a recent interview with Radio 5 Live, the financial guru opened up about how he lost his mother in a devastating car crash just days before his twelfth birthday – a tragic event that he described as ‘the end of my childhood’.
In the interview, Martin told host Tony Livesey how he ‘cried every day’ after the accident until he was 15.
He also went on to say how that ‘even now, over thirty years later, its is still so painful for me to talk about.’
The money man has since become a patron for Grief Encounter, a charity which aims to help children who lose their parents, but said he wrestled with the idea of getting involved, as he knew he’d have to explain his connection.
Whilst it was clearly a difficult topic for Martin to discuss, listeners were quick to praise him for opening up, branding the star ‘brave’ on social media – with many confessing to being left in tears.
So great was the impact of the interview that Martin has now confessed to being ‘overwhelmed’ by the outpouring of love the interview prompted, and has thanked fans for their support and well-wishes.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain on Thursday, he revealed: “I had to turn off social media – I couldn’t cope with the messages any more.
“Thank you to everyone who has got in touch with messages and shared grief and the litres of tears people have told me about.”
Martin went on to joke: “I want to go back to being the guy that saves you money. I couldn’t cope with [sharing my grief] any more.”
He revealed more in a blog post on his website, where he wrote of the response: “I’ve been overwhelmed in every way
“Doing the Radio 5 Live interview was far more costly emotionally than I had expected.
“While it was the first time I’d spoken about it publicly in detail, I can’t actually ever remember it in that depth privately either. Even my wonderful wife learnt things from listening.”
He added: “I have received literally thousands of wonderful, kind, supportive messages via social media. Many messages were from others of the 1 in 29 who lost a parent before 18, who’d also bottled it in, never grieved and told me they felt this gave permission to change. Or the parents whose young children are in the same boat.”
You can find out more about Grief Encounter here, or call the hotline on 020 8371 8455
Words by: Sarah Finley