Tis the season to be thrifty, so I thought I’d give A SuperScrimpers’ Merry Christmas (8pm, C4, 4 December) a go. But I sooo wish I hadn’t. Supposedly offering tips on how to have a frugal Christmas in the age of austerity, it’s better described as offering tips in a depression - for that’s what I was in a state of after watching.
A clue to its awfulness came when it was revealed they’d be helping Dean, from 1980s novelty act Black Lace, who was challenged to “avoid a lot of festive Agadoo” (geddit?) by creating a feast for 20 for £50. The end result looked as cheap and nasty as it was, but nothing compared with the other homemade ‘treats’ on offer: a ‘luxury’ bath containing powdered milk (gag) a snowman decoration made from a lightbulb (it still looked like a lightbulb) crackers created from loo rolls (with no snaps!) and decorations made by tearing up old books (yup, they desecrated books).
The nadir, though, came when Mrs Moneypenny visited the Duchess of Rutland “to see how the other half scrimp.” Top tips included saving money on heating by wearing a mink (after all, “nothing is better than your very own second-hand mink coat”) and using free ingredients in her case, pheasants and venison from her estate (in ours?).
Dressed up as a bit of fun, this was, frankly, insulting. Frustratingly, amid the dross, there was some genuinely useful advice - tips on how to spot dodgy websites, for instance. Nowhere near enough though. Indeed, if there’s one thing you should scrimp on this Christmas, it’s watching this.