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Struggling mum in £16,000 debt left in tears after millionaire changes her life

Emma Guinness

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Struggling mum in £16,000 debt left in tears after millionaire changes her life

Featured Image Credit: Channel 5

As the cost of living crisis continues to tighten its grip, one mum in £16,000 worth of debt has had her life changed for the better by a very generous millionaire.

Billie Thompson lives in a three bedroomed Nottingham council house with her children, Blaine, 12, and Maxie-Jay, five, and relies on her part time job as a carer and benefits to get by.

Her mum, Deb, a cleaner, also helps her out by dipping into her savings when needed.

This leaves her with just £52 disposable income a week, which made paying off her £16,000 debt near enough impossible.

Billie often has to dip into her mum's savings. Credit: Channel 5
Billie often has to dip into her mum's savings. Credit: Channel 5

However, life dramatically changed for Billie when she swapped lives - and budgets - with millionaire Mark Harvey for a week for the Channel 5 program Rich House, Poor House.

Mark lives in an eight-bedroom mansion on his 1,500 acre Derbyshire estate with his fiancée, Nicky.

The millionaire also has three children from a previous relationship, Courtney, 12, Sienna-Rose, six, and Freya, four, as well as Theo, one, who he shares with Nicky.

However, Mark wasn't always wealthy and started out as a builder before making a successful property portfolio worth millions.

Mark and Nicky. Credit: Channel 5
Mark and Nicky. Credit: Channel 5

"I believe that if you're born into a poor background it's not your fault but if you stay there, it is your fault," he said.

He has a weekly budget of £1,750, but for the show, he tried to live on Billie's budget of just £52.31 while Billie was able to experience his life of luxury.

"It was very overwhelming," Billie admitted. "It's something that I'd love to give my kids and I don't think I'd ever be able to and it upset me."

When the pair met at the end of the week, Mark, who credits his success to a good attitude and a strict routine, asked Billie what she wants to do with her life.

Millionaire Mark offered to help Billie. Credit: Channel 5 / Rich House, Poor House
Millionaire Mark offered to help Billie. Credit: Channel 5 / Rich House, Poor House

"I just want to be comfortable and have a better life and know that I can do what I want to do," she said.

He then vowed to work with her to change her situation.

"If you really want to transform your life, I'd be willing to work with you, work beside you, whatever it is you need,"

Mark said.

"Point you in the right direction, give you training, programmes so that you can find out what it really is you want to do so you don't have to rely on your mum or anyone else and you can stand on your own two feet."

Mark transformed Billie's life. Credit: Channel 5
Mark transformed Billie's life. Credit: Channel 5

Billie was overwhelmed by the offer and broke down in tears.

"Ok, let's put this into action, come up with a strategy of how to start, what direction to go in," Mark said.

The millionaire said he could tell the mum-of-two, who recently took up carpentry in a bid to earn more, really does want to change her life, and he's going to help make that happen.

Topics: Real Life, TV And Film

Emma Guinness
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