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Joanna Page became a star in 2007 in the adored sitcom Gavin & Stacey .
And while she can’t currently confirm whether the show will return she will be back on telly from tonight, as one half of Shop Well For Less?’s new presenting duo, alongside Melanie Sykes.
They’re stepping into the shoes of Steph McGovern and Alex Jones, the show’s presenters since 2016.
“It was a complete no-brainer when they approached me to front Shop Well For Less?,” said Joanna, who is married to actor James Thornton and is mum to Eva, eight, Kit, six, and Noah, four. She recently revealed that she's pregnant with their fourth child.
“I love meeting new people, interviewing them and finding out about their lives.”
Here, in an exclusive chat Joanna lets us in on her own spending habits and reveals her top money-saving tips…
Hi, Joanna! Did you have fun filming the programme?
It was so much fun! I’m really nosey, so I love going into other people’s houses and finding out how they live, spend and what their weaknesses are. We offer tips and advice to help them build better spending habits and I thought the whole thing was fascinating.
Do you have any spending habits that you’re looking to kick?
As a busy mum of three, when you’ve got work, homeschooling and tidying the house to contend with, you need to give yourself a reward. I’d reward myself by hopping on the computer and browsing shopping websites. With a few clicks I could buy myself some nice things and get that lovely feeling of euphoria, but it doesn’t last.
Have you curbed that?
I’m going to sound like such an old woman but I’ve taken up things like crochet, knitting and jigsaws. They give me time to myself, I feel relaxed and I get a sense of achievement without spending any money.
Have you got any money-saving tips for us?
Avoid credit! It might seem like the easy way to buy things, but if you can’t pay it off in time and the interest starts building you’re literally spending money for nothing. If I haven’t got the money for it, I don’t buy it.
What’s been your biggest spending splurge?
A ridiculously expensive handbag of some sort. I’ll spend loads on it and it’ll end up with a squashed banana in the bottom and some nappies and a change of clothes stuffed into it. Now, I’m extremely practical. Rucksacks only!
Who looks after the finances in your house?
It’s a joint effort. James is Northern and I’m Welsh, so we come from quite similar backgrounds and share the same values. As long as we’ve got a roof over our heads and we’re all fed and clothed, that’s the most important thing.
How was it working with Mel on the show?
We’d never met before but she is just fab. She’s such a strong, ballsy, Northern woman and fantastic to work with. I’m definitely the ditzy one and she’s more sensible.
Did you have a favourite day of filming?
It’s got to be when we shot with this young couple in their 20s. They’d spend a fortune on spa treatments, so we tried to get them into at-home massages and it was absolutely hilarious. Hands down, one of the funniest days on set.
We’ve got to ask, do you think Smithy [James Corden’s Gavin & Stacey character] said yes?
[Laughs.] Half of me is like, “No, he definitely wouldn’t,” because there’s such a finality to that. But, the other half of me thinks he would because he’s so lovely with baby Neil. It could go either way I honestly don’t know!
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