Daily Archives: February 29, 2016

Louise Jameson

For those not in Dallas on June 3-4 for Peter Capaldi’s Appearance, apparently he will be at

Awesome Con
June 3-5, 2016 (Sunday only)
Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C., USA

also. Still can’t go… 😦


Actress Louise Jameson, 64, played the iconic role of Leela in Dr Who in the Seventies opposite Tom Baker. She later starred in Tenko, Bergerac and EastEnders, and has many other television, theatre and film role credits to her name. She lives in Kent, is divorced from artist Martin Bedford, and has two sons, and two grandchildren.

How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude towards money? 

My father drummed into me that there was a history of working hard in the family when I was a teenager. At the time, I wasn’t trying very hard at school. That stuck. I was born in Wanstead but grew up in Woodford Green, Essex. My father worked in a lavatory paper factory but ended up running his own financial advice business. My mother was a star in the local amateur dramatic society and I’m sure if she could, she’d have tried her hand at treading the boards, but she stayed at home to look after my brother Russell and I.  I had a private education, but wasn’t very good at academic subjects like maths, geography or history, so I left school at 15. My English and drama teachers had inspired me though – both were very supportive of my early attempts at acting.

Has there been a time in your life when you didn’t know how you were going to pay the bills?

At Rada, from the ages of 17 to 19, I was on a full grant, plus my parents topped that up, so I was fine as a student.  When my children came along, I had to sometimes take work that paid the bills. The Bergerac job, when the children were young, which lasted four years, was an absolute life saver. Overall, I’ve been OK though. My childhood and upbringing taught me to never turn your back on a problem. If ever I thought I needed to, I went to see my bank manager to discuss my finances. There have been two or three moments when things got a bit uncomfortable, but then another job would come in and the crisis passed. I did a little temping in my 20s but I’ve worked pretty solidly as an actress since 1971.

Louise Jameson and John Nettles in Bergerac
‘The Bergerac job, when the children were young, which lasted four years, was an absolute life saver,’ explains Louise Jameson, pictured with co-star John Nettles Credit: Mike Maloney/REX/Shutterstock


What were you paid for your early BBC roles?

I was in one episode of Z Cars in 1972, which I can’t remember the fee for. It probably wasn’t very much.  When I started work on Dr Who, I got £120 per episode, which went up to £150. The BBC used to have this system, where you came in on a ground level and every job you get you get pushed up a little bit, so by the time I got to EastEnders I was on a pretty reasonable whack.

Most lucrative work? 

The highest I ever got paid was working in the Nineties, for a Walt Disney film, Stick with Me, Kid, which was then turned into a TV series. They still paid retainers back in those days so I was earning a lot of money.

Is ‘Dr Who’ the gift that keeps on giving?

I think so. I’ve just played a w—- in Toast of London, because Matt Berry [the co-creator and writer] liked Leela. I have certainly earned far more since appearing on the show, with conventions, TV appearances around the show, plus I have voiced audio books for Big Finish. This year I will be in New York, Chicago and LA for Dr Who conventions, plus I might be taking my one woman show Pulling Faces to New York too. It is all on the back of being known for that part.

L.I. Who
Nov. 11-13, 2016

Hyatt Regency Long Island
Hauppauge, New York, USA


Louise Jameson with 'Dr Who' Tom Baker
Louise Jameson as Leela alongside Tom Baker as Dr Who  Credit: © UPPA Ltd


What was your best business decision?

Property. I got on the property ladder in 1973 or 1974 with a housing association, buying a two-bedroom flat with a garden in West Hampstead for £13,500. As a single self-employed actress, it was the only way I could buy. I then bought and sold a few times, moving to Camden, then West London, before moving down to Kent in 1989. I did well with every sale, even though I didn’t try to do properties up specifically to make money. The cottage I own now has quadrupled in value over the years.

And your worst financial decision?

Property again. In my late 40s, I bought a second property instead of paying off the mortgage on my first. At the time it seemed like a good idea, but it has meant I am still paying off my mortgage now.  I also turned down a role in Hart to Hart, the hit US TV series, but I had just signed a contract with the Bristol Old Vic to work there. The door to Hollywood never opened again. I can’t complain, I’ve had a brilliant career.

Spender or a saver?

Spender. I like to spend on holidays, city breaks. When I am feeling flush, I will take taxis instead of public transport. I belong to a club in London so that is another little luxury. I also love buying presents for my family. I don’t have Isas or anything like that… If I do have excess funds, I will put them in Premium Bonds.

What’s been the most difficult money lesson?

Never ever do a business deal on a handshake. Always get it in writing and witnessed especially.

Do you prefer to pay by debit, credit or cash?

Credit. I have a Switch card and a MasterCard, and I tend to put all business purchases through by card. I pay my credit card off every month. I carry about £50 around with me.

Do you have a personal pension?

I have the tiniest pension in the world with Aviva. It was £24 a month but they have now decided to tax it so it is £17.50 a month. I started to draw my state pension when I was 62. I get around £200 a week, which is fantastic.

What are your financial priorities for the next five to 10 years?

My long-term financial strategy is to keep on working. Two years ago I switched to a capital repayment mortgage so I should be mortgage free in 2019, and then if I carry on earning as I am earning now, I would like to buy a tiny little property in the South of France.

Do you meet regularly with or use a financial adviser?

I will consult my brother Russell, who runs my father’s old business, David Jameson Ltd, if I need to discuss money.  I have just switched accountants. The last couple I feel have ripped me off with large fees – I think they see a well-known actress with a bit of a name and they think they can double their fee as a result of that.

Are you a good tipper?

Yes, especially if the service has been fabulous. I normally add 10pc and then add it up to whatever makes a nice neat figure so it could be as much as 20pc. But if the service has been substandard I won’t tip at all.

Do you invest in stocks and shares? 

I don’t at the moment. My brother did invest some money for me some years ago, which worked but I can’t remember the details. If I did have any money to invest in something, then I would invest in friends’ film or theatre projects.

If there was one thing you could change about the financial world what would that be?

I would get rid of the fine for submitting your tax return late. And I’d also change the way actors are taxed, from an annual basis to an average of income over three years. In this business, you can have a very high-earning year followed by very low-earning one. This would mean that paying tax when in a fallow period wasn’t a hardship.

Do you give regularly to charity?

Yes. I sponsor a child in Sudan and I give to Amnesty International regularly. I am a patron of a charity called DAVSS, Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services, and I run events to raise money for them.

Is there anything you don’t like about handling money?

No. I love money actually. It is a means to an end.

Does money make you happy in your opinion?

Yes. Money makes me very happy and if you are miserable, it is much better to be miserable rich than miserable poor. Being able to treat yourself to a massage or a weekend break can help lift your mood.

•Louise Jameson stars in the 2016 UK tour of The Mousetrap. For full dates, go to mousetrapontour.com

Thanks to the UK Telegraph.