The Hunt for Britain’s Tightest Person – I knew it would be a man!

by Lynn Connolly

Channel 4 last night aired Claire Braden’s search for the men and women of Britain who have taken saving money to “extreme levels”.

During the show, we met Yorkshire farmer Gareth, whose only present to his long-suffering wife was a chainsaw so she can cut down wood for the fire. He and his wife have a home-reared steak on a Saturday night, but he ensures the steak is thinly cut. He was tight without doubt, but if he was a duck’s rear end, some water would’ve got in…

The next contender was weirdo Ilona who wears men’s underpants because they’re apparently cheaper and last longer than girls knickers. Ilona shops just as her local supermarket is closing when they reduce everything, and she stalks the dude with the price reduction gun in order to get bigger bargains. She also deliberately didn’t have central heating or hot water on tap, so she ‘bathed’ in a bowl of water and just wore a really lot of clothes.

When asked if she thought her tightness was stopping her from having a relationship, she agreed it probably was. For me, the fact that she wears men’s underwear, has a personal hygiene regime that only consists of a bowl of water a couple of times a week and her bullish bargain hunting would be more likely culprits for thwarting Cupid’s arrow. In fact, she’d probably sell the arrow on eBay, assuming she’d pay for internet access.

Then we met upper class chinless wonders Mr and Mrs Hay who own Duns Castle in Scotland. The “lady of manor” shops in Aldi or Lidl if she’s hosting a paid event such as a wedding reception. I bet that little gem has caused a rush of cancellations!

She also cuts dishwasher tablets in half and only puts the heating on if it’s really necessary. She shops at charity shops and reprimands her staff if they overfill the kettle or don’t arrange the dishes in the dishwasher to maximise space properly. She should also apply for ‘Employer From Hell’ shows… it could bring in a few quid.

Then there was Welshman Ieuan, who is so tight that his girlfriend refuses to live with him, even though they have a child together, so he’s obviously generous with some commodities.

He saves egg boxes to resell, melts down scented candles to get his money’s worth out of them and uses gaffer tape to hold a multitude of things together so he doesn’t have to replace them.

It was he who was crowned The Tightest Person In Britain but I don’t think Claire’s search was exhaustive enough… she didn’t call on my house! To be fair, my husband can be very generous but he can’t stand the fact that I don’t necessarily analyse every item in my shopping basket.

He used to walk around the supermarket while I shopped, calculator in hand doing some huffing and puffing as I bought things that he didn’t approve of. For instance, I buy certain shop’s own cola but not the stuff that’s like 5p per family sized bottle; the stuff that doubles as anti-freeze.

He also can’t stand it if I pass the reductions shelf and goes into meltdown if I throw something out of our fridge for the ridiculous reason that it’s a month out of date. He can’t see any good reason why I don’t buy beans that cost 9p a can and prefer the beans that aren’t reconstituted bullets at 20p.

Do you have Britain’s tightest person under your roof? If so, let us know what extremes they go to to stretch out their pennies!

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.