Sandra Martin is candid and says she no longer sees herself as a celebrity but does hope those days might return.
Sandra was in Hastings this week as guest of honour at the Community and Business Lunch Club and talked, among other things, about the friendship she struck up with Eastenders star June Brown (Dot Cotton) on the set of their new TV show that launches next week called 100 Years Younger in 21 days.
Sandra with her audience at Wednesday’s Community and Business Lunch Club.
Sandra shot to fame in the hit Channel 4 programme Gogglebox where, alongside best friend Sandi Bogle, they became firm fan favourites. Sandra explained at Wednesday’s meeting – held at Azur on St Leonards seafront – that after Sandi left the show she didn’t want to continue despite plans for her to have stayed on, joined on the sofa by her daughter.
Sandra is a huge personality and comes across as warm and engaging. She is totally honest too, talking openly about the fact that the money she made during her time on Gogglebox has all gone and that she is now back on benefits.
Sandra explains that although she did enjoy spending money on herself, a lot of the money she made went to support friends and family. Sandra wanted to share the fruits of her success with those who had been a big part of her life before she found her fame.
Sandra was discovered in her local pub and was initially reluctant to take the job, “I was a full time grandmother” she says. But eventually alongside Sandi she was persuaded and never looked back.
She was an overnight sensation and says that was hard to cope with at first. She says she never enjoyed the world of celebrity, but best friend Sandi did, “I’m not a celebrity anymore, I’m back on benefits, but who know what might happen.”
Sandra with Stuart Baillie from Hastings In Focus.
For the time being Sandra is throwing all her very considerable energy in to charity work and says she is booked solidly from now through until July and she is happy if the fame she has gained from her time on TV can be used to help others.
And a return to celebrity status might just be around the corner. With a recent appearance on Loose Women, the new TV programme 100 Years younger in 21 days due to start on ITV net week Sandra is also set to appear with Lorraine Kelly on her morning programme next Tuesday.
The first of four episodes of 100 Years Younger in 21 Days is broadcast on ITV at 9pm on Tuesday 27. In the show Sandra is joined by co-stars Emmerdale’s Claire King, Benidorm’s Sherrie Hewson, Catchphrase’s Roy Walker, EastEnders stars June Brown and Sid Owen, Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder and the Daily Star’s astrologer Russell Grant.