HE’S known for his acting, playing Doctor Petridis in The Durrells, and as a reality star, winning Celebrity MasterChef.
Alexis Conran is also a magician and member of the Magic Circle, and was brought up in Greece.
He appears each week in Channel 5’s Shop Smart Save Money, investigating household brands.
The new series starts on Thursday on Channel 5 at 8pm.
What are you trying to do in this show?
To keep companies in check, find out if they’re duping us. I also presented The Real Hustle, looking at scams, so I’m a huge fan of the truth.
How did you find the stories for Shop Smart?
We look on social media to see what people complain about. It might just be McDonalds selling underweight fries, but it’s still wrong. We got national coverage for that one in our last series.
Can you give me another example?
I’ll be looking at high street sandwiches. They put all the filling near the see-through packaging window so we think it’s crammed, but open up the bread and there’s none anywhere else.
Are you a good businessman?
No, I’m terrible. I’m a professional deceiver but a useless businessman. I’d feel embarrassed trying to make a profit from someone.
Do you handle money well?
My mum wasn’t a big saver, and I’ve had to learn to get out of debt. I now have enough knowledge not to get into arrears again, but I still spend my money when it comes in.
When did you first feel rich?
I was 21 and just out of drama school. I had a part in Soldier Soldier and got paid around £4,000. Did I put some aside for tax? Did I heck. I spent it all.
What’s the most lucrative job you’ve done?
A commercial for a cold sore cream. I only spent a couple of hours filming with a girl who wore a helmet for our dates until her sore disappeared. It was shown for years and I earned handsomely for that.
You do so many things. What do you like best?
Difficult. Magic is my love. I have a pack of cards in my hands every single day (he shuffled cards throughout our interview). I even cut packs when I’m waiting on set.
Are you doing more of The Durrells?
I’ve just shot my scenes for the new series. It’s hard work for Keeley Hawes who is in it every minute, but with my small part it’s a joy. I should be paying them.
You have 24 hours left to live. How do you spend it?
The older I get, the more Greece calls me. I’d take the family there, pick olives and figs, buy some Greek cheese, then go out in a boat. That would be perfect for me.