Gogglebox star Sandra Martin has revealed that she’s finally off benefits after landing a job at a funeral parlour.
The TV personality, 61, told in March this year that she was back on benefits after having fallen on hard times – despite claiming that she ‘earned more than anyone else’ during her stint on the Channel 4 show.
But Sandra has now turned her life around once more and is earning a wage as a cleaner at her friend’s business – a job she started just three weeks ago.
In a new interview, the bubbly TV star told how she initially rejected a role as a receptionist at the funeral parlour as it would’ve been ‘too emotional’, but is happy to show ‘respect for the deceased’ by keeping the place clean.
She told The Sun: ‘I’m 61 and a grandmother. Three weeks ago I was on benefits and looking for work. Now, I’m going to be cleaning a funeral parlour after a friend opened one in Hastings.’
Good for you: Gogglebox star Sandra Martin has revealed that she’s finally off benefits after landing a job at a funeral parlour
Hard times: The TV personality, 61, told in March this year that she was back on benefits after having fallen on hard times – despite claiming that she ‘earned more than anyone else’ during her stint on the Channel 4 show
She went on to say that she’s due to begin a training course on ‘confidence and communication’ in a bid to develop new skills should she want to move onto receptionist work, but for now, she felt happier to be a cleaner.
Sandra explained: ‘I don’t want to do the reception work at the start, I think it will be too emotional.
‘But at least for now I’m happy to keep the place clean out of respect for the deceased. I think it will be respectful.’
Sandra, who lives in Hastings but originally hails from Brixton, has been on and off benefits since leaving Gogglebox in 2018 – which the exception of a brief stint at Midlands’ train station.
The TV star told how she found it difficult to work that as she would be ‘constantly’ stopped for selfies.
In March, Sandra revealed she was ‘paid more than anyone else’ during her time on the Channel 4 series .
Sandra and her best friend Sandi Bogle, 58, became one of the most popular duos on the show when it began in 2013.
But in 2017, Sandi left the show to pursue her singing career and was replaced by Sandra’s daughter Chanchez, before she too left show soon after.
Fresh start: Sandra has now turned her life around once more and is earning a wage as a cleaner at her friend’s business – a job she started just three weeks ago
Speaking to The Sun she claimed as ‘star of the show’ she was paid more than any other cast member, allowing her to enjoy a ‘luxury lifestyle’.
She said: ‘I got more than everybody else, because everybody else was working, but I was on benefits, and I was the best one that was making the show’.
‘I got the contract, and they paid my rent, council tax, TV licence, electricity, gas, all the bills you need’.
Before adding: ‘I was living a luxury lifestyle.’
The fan favourite said she had blown her earnings from the show – thought to be around £1,500-a-month – on takeaways and getting her hair done.
Striking it rich: Sandra, 61, (right) and her best friend Sandi Bogle , 58, (left) from Brixton became one of the most popular duos on the show when it began in 2013
Sandra won the British public over with her infectious cackle and love of Pot Noodles during her time on the show but by 2018 she had ended up homeless.
Despite the setback, Sandra revealed that after 50 years they remain friends: ‘No matter what we go through, she’s always got a room here for her, and she’s always got a room for me.
‘We’re besties. We’ve been through, ups, downs, thick and thin, the worst, the wears, the tears, the bumps, the laughs.’
Explaining how she quickly burned through her pay, Sandra previously told Loose Women: ‘The money was coming in. The bank account was big, being in the community, all my friends on the social.’
‘I never got help, but the money was squandering. The money went, taxis, hair, take away, friends that wanted money. The money just went. It was natural to help, I don’t regret it.’
Sandra added that at some points she wished she had never found fame, explaining: ‘I wanted to burn it all and go back to it. I’m not the celebrity person. I do lots of charity work, they don’t pay me, Sandi likes doing the red carpet.’