Gogglebox star says they're homeless & broke after going from BAFTAs to benefits - but still enjoy lavish hols and trolls hate it

Gogglebox logo
-Credit: (Image: Channel 4)


It's been a rollercoaster seven years for Sandra Martin since she waved goodbye to Gogglebox. Despite her continued love for the show, her life has taken a dramatic turn.

The proud grandmother-of-five, who was recently left heartbroken over the death of her sister, has experienced a drastic change in circumstances, going from having "everything paid for" by Gogglebox to being jobless, living in temporary accommodation and selling merchandise to afford food.

Sandra openly admits she's "broke" and survives on £238-a-month Universal Credit, but that hasn't stopped her from enjoying some lavish holidays much to the dismay of online trolls.

She's been whisked away to Ibiza, Amsterdam and Portugal among other places, all thanks to generous fans who are more than happy to foot the bill for her company.

Sandra has opened up about her finances
Sandra has opened up about her finances and said she is practically homeless -Credit:Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

In an exclusive chat with The Sun, she revealed: "I've been on five holidays since Christmas Day and I'm going to Malta too, it's all because of Gogglebox."

"I've been to Amsterdam, Portugal, Benidorm and lots of other places. Soon I'm going to Skegness. People love me and I give them entertainment so they pay for my trips."

"It's because I've got such a large platform, I'm on social media every day and talk to my fans. People are bored and I cheer them up. I get a lot of hate for it because I'm always on planes but people gift these trips to me. It's a miracle really, they must have spent thousands of pounds on me."

Best friends Sandra Martin and Sandi Bogle appeared on Gogglebox
Best friends Sandra Martin and Sandi Bogle appeared on Gogglebox -Credit:Channel 4

Her journey to becoming one of the nation's most beloved couch potatoes began with a chance encounter with a producer while enjoying a drink in a Brixton pub with her friend Sandi Bogle.

She reminisces: "I was tipsy because I'd been on the brandy and the bartender told him 'Go to Queen Bee' and it was the best thing that happened to me."

Once reliant on benefits, Sandra's life took a turn for the better when she claims that from 2013 Gogglebox "paid for everything", including her rent and utilities.

Sandra Martin starred on Gogglebox with Sandy Channer
The pair were known for their hot takes and loud laughs -Credit:Publicity Picture

She reveals: "I got paid more than anyone else, more than any of the other families because they were working and I had to come off benefits to appear on the show. All the bills that you have to pay for in life they dealt with for me and left me around £300 to £500 a week on top of that to get my hair and nails done and other expenses."

"I could have bought a house with all the money I made but I gave it away, I took care of my family and friends. I filled their fridges, took them shopping to buy clothes and paid for meals."

In addition to her Gogglebox earnings, she claimed to have scored an advert to promote a Chinese TV show that paid £10,000 - and left her with £6,000 after tax.

Brother and sister Pete and Sophie on Gogglebox
There are strict rules Gogglebox families have to adhere to while being on the show -Credit:Channel 4

Despite being out of work, Sandra is "booked up until next year" with complimentary holidays and celebrity events - recently, she's been rubbing shoulders with Christopher Biggins and Katie Price.

She also keeps her fans entertained by documenting her daily life on Instagram and interviewing strangers on the street using a sparkly pink microphone.

Sandra says, "I've gone from Brixton to the BAFTAs to benefits and now I'm broke but at least I'm happy and busy even though I'm technically homeless, have no money or anything."