What I Have Done

I began my freelance life in October 1986. I have never looked back. Except here of course! This page contains details of what I did do but generally don't anymore.

I can't really imagine anyone would really be interested in it and it is not complete. But I use it from time to time when memory doesn't serve. And I can't bring myself to throw it away.

Much more interesting is What I Do Now

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In April 2003 I chaired a mystery shopping exercise of Independent Financial Advisers. The results were broadcast on The Price of Advice presented by Lesley Curwen and produced by Lynne Jones, on Radio 4 on 22 April 2003. We found that IFAs failed to give good advice on moving money to a non-taxpaying wife's name, on paying off a mortgage before investing, and on using cash ISA allowances. They also wrongly assessed the risk profile of the mystery shopper. The panel - drawn from industry and consumer experts - found the advisers generally poor.

In November 2001 I wrote and presented a Money Box Special, Pensions in Peril, produced by Chris A'Court, presenting for the first time the now familiar problems of some final salary company pension schemes. 

Earlier that year, In January, I wrote and presented another special Money Box - An Inequitable Life, produced by Paul O'Keefe, about the troubled insurance company Equitable Life - a programme that helped Money Box win a special commendation for its coverage of the Equitable tale. 

I reported for four years on Money Box on BBC Radio 4 from 1993-1997, finding stories on pensions, social security, tax, and consumer issues. In 1997 I presented Inside Money on Radio 4, a series of seven investigative programmes looking behind consumer issues in personal finance. In January 1996 I presented a 40 minute Radio 4 programme analysing the history of recent pension policy in the UK.


For three years from August 1997, I presented Wake Up to Money, Radio 5 Live's early morning business and city programme. It was broadcast Monday to Friday from 0545 to 0600 with business inserts in The Breakfast Programme at 0645, 0745, and 0845. After three years, I decided to stop doing the early morning shift and - with great sadness - left Radio 5 Live on 11 August 2000.

From 1996 to 1997 I presented Radio 5 Live's personal finance programme Money Check each Monday lunchtime. And for three summers I developed and presented Sort It on Radio 5 Live solving listeners' financial problems and recovering more than £100,000 for them. 


In late Summer 2001 I made a brief appearance with Twiggy on her Sunday afternoon show, Take Time...produced by Meridian, talking about how to find an Independent Financial Adviser

In the Autumn of 1998 I was the finance consultant to the new BBC game show Easy Money - a humorous look at finance and business broadcast on BBC ONE.

For five years in the 1980s I presented a regular item on money and finance on Years Ahead and The Senior Service, the Channel 4 series for the over-60s. 

And around the same time I appeared weekly on BBC television in two series of Advice Shop looking behind the news at matters which affected consumers of public services.

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From late 1986 to early 2004 I wrote regularly for the 'your money' pages in the Saturday edition of The Daily Telegraph on personal finance - particularly on pensions, social security, child support, and tax. I also contributed to the overseas Weekly Telegraph

I wrote a double page feature for a re-launch of The Scotsman in September 2005 and another in 2006.

I have written occasionally for The Herald, the Glasgow-based daily and Sunday newspaper, on personal finance.

In the past, quite distant now, I have contributed to the Times Educational Supplement, the London Evening Standard, The Sunday Times and The Observer personal finance pages. And I've written on developments in computing and technology for both The Sunday Times and the Independent.

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For four years I contributed to the BBC's financial literacy and numeracy project Cashwise. In 2005 I acted as consultant on the Cashwise magazine and CD rom and wrote parts of it. In 2004 I wrote for Cashwise magazine and the Cashwise CD rom. In 2002 and 2003 I met the public at roadshows in shopping malls in Norwich, Newcastle, and Cardiff and wrote for the first Cashwise magazine.

I supported the launch of this new BBC/Financial Times joint venture with two pieces in September 2005.

In the spring of 2000 I began writing a monthly piece on investment and personal finance for the Reader's Digest, the UK's largest circulation subscription magazine. From the end of 2001, I wrote more occasional longer cover features on personal finance issues.


Saga Money began in 2001 as Saga Investor. Renamed in 2002, it offered advice and information on financial issues which affected people aged 50 or more. I was consulting editor from the start until the final issue in Winter 2002.

BBC Parenting was launched in October 2003. I wrote its personal finance column from the start until April 2004.

I have written on the Euro for Moneywise, the prize-winning personal finance magazine. 

From September 2000 until April 2002 I wrote each month in Radio Times. It began as Money Know How and then was branded . The column ended with one of the magazine's redesigns at Easter 2002.. 

During 2001 I acted as consultant on the BBC's numeracy project Count Me In, looking at is the high cost of not being good with numbers - Can't Count Costs Cash.

I have written occasionally for Director magazine. And I have written for Health and Ageing, Audiovisuality, Mobile Business, Archimedes World, Solicitor‘s Journal, New Computer Express, and Arc Magazine among others.

I contributed to the spring.com  website on technology and finance and wrote written pages on personal finance for the Cable & Wireless Homeworld web site.

From 10 May 2007 to November 2009 I wrote a monthly column in the care and social work magazine Community Care.

Complete archive

In the spring of 2000 I began writing a monthly piece on investment and personal finance for the Reader's Digest, the UK's largest circulation subscription magazine. From the end of 2001, I wrote more occasional longer cover features on personal finance issues. These ended in 2003. But then in 2007 the call came again and the latest and final piece can be read in the....

...Complete Archive back to 2000

From April to November 2009 I wrote a monthly money column in the Property Buzz pages of Good Homes, then a BBC Worldwide magazine aimed at young homemakers.

Complete archive back to April 2009

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What I Do Now

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All material on these pages is Paul Lewis 1996 - 2011