Alex Jones: ‘My shopping addiction is coats… I’m learning, but I’m not cured yet!’

(Image credit: BBC/RDF Television/Joel Chant/UNP)

Alex Jones is a self-confessed retail addict. Here The One Show presenter tells What’s on TV how she’s attempting to help other impulse buyers in her new BBC1 series, Shop Well For Less…

What can we expect from your new two-part series?

"BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern and myself look at two different families who don’t have too much disposable income but can’t stop spending. First we spy on them as they’re shopping to get an idea of their habits. Then we take them to a pop-up shop that’s actually filled with things from their own homes that they’ve too much of. It can get emotional because they get an idea of how excessive their spending is."

How do you help them?

"We look at their weekly, monthly and yearly expenditure in terms of clothes, toiletries, gadgets and house products. We then get them to swap some things for cheaper items. We’re all very brand loyal! But it’s not all about buying cheaper. In some cases we say, like my mother always does, if you buy cheap, you buy twice!"

What are the big shocks you uncovered?

"We did a paint test and found out, to all our horror, that expensive brands like aren’t actually the best. Shampoos and vacuum tests were surprising too. The big one that surprised me was technology - you don’t always need to buy expensive tablets, especially for children."

Tell us about this week’s family…

"The Allens are a lovely family from Yorkshire who don’t have too much disposable income but are really drawn to designer brands and buy them for their three children. Mum Naomi is a beauty therapist and can’t go into a department store without buying make-up and perfume she doesn’t need, while dad Richard loves shirts. We show them how to make simple changes."

Do they manage to make lasting changes?

"They have done. When we show them at the end of the programme how much they can save it makes an impact! It’s not a preachy show, we all learn together."

What are your shopping addictions?

"Steph’s is perfume and mine is coats and shampoo! I’ve learned so much from Shop Well. I recognise myself in these families. We’re all drawn straight to certain items in shops. I’ve learned to recognise my habits, de-clutter and know what I’ve already bought. Though I’m not completely 100% cured yet!"

Would you like to do more Well For Less programmes?

"Yes! We’ve already done Eat Well For Less, and I think a Holiday or Marry Well For Less could be fun and interesting. Having just recently got married I know when people hear that ‘W’ word they bump up the price by thousands!"

Shop Well For Less begins on Wednesday 9 March at 8.00pm on BBC1

Elaine Reilly
Writer for TV Times, What’s On TV, TV & Satellite Week and What To Watch

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.