SEEING RED: Shining a light on the dark side of Black Friday

I love a bargain. Mrs B prefers to use the term '˜tight' to describe my spending habits. But be it a bargain or being tight, I like to be careful with my pennies.

Thursday, 23rd November 2017, 10:46 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 9:40 am
Black Friday

In fact, you won’t catch me parting with a single penny this Friday - or Black Friday as the US -inspired discount day has now been hideously dubbed.

Black Friday, of course, is the day - or weekend to be more precise - when some major retailers slash prices so we can all go out to buy a 55-inch 4K Ultra HD curved TV at a ridiculously cheap price. Or so we’re led to believe. That’s because consumer group Which? has found that many items discounted over the Black Friday weekend can be bought for the same price or even cheaper at other times of the year.

Well, there’s a surprise.

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Of course, despite this I can guarantee that come Friday, national media outlets will be publishing photos online of shoppers squabbling over the last TV amid scenes of utter carnage.

Why? Because we’re a greedy society which has no qualms about getting into debt just to keep up with the Joneses.

Millions if not billions will be spent in shops and online, but it won’t be cold, hard cash I fear.

Instead, one suspects it will be the flexible friend who will be making an appearance as Britons battle with each other in the aisles of the nation’s stores.

One well-known retailer no longer takes part in Black Friday because of violence breaking out and people being trampled in the stampede for a bargain in its stores. Is it really worth risking your life or a conviction? Of course not.

In America, customers often queue for hours to get their hands on the must-have bargains - and normally where the US leads, we follow.

Such behaviour has always been something of a head scratcher to me - it may explain why I have little hair on top.

But seriously, anyone who queues overnight outside a shop waiting for it to open needs to evaluate their life and pretty quickly.

So, come the weekend I will not be participating in any Black Friday promotion.

No, I will keep my hard-earned money in my wallet and bag a genuine bargain on my terms when the time is right.

- I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here has returned to our screens with the usual assortment of ‘stars’ we’d struggle to recognise if they walked past us in the street.

It really is saying something when the most recognised figures are boxer Amir Khan, pint-sized ex-footballer Dennis Wise and Jennie McAlpine - better known as Fizz from Coronation Street.

Throw into the mix Stanley Johnson - father of gaffe-prone Foreign Secretary Boris - and footballer Jamie Vardy’s other half Rebekah and we’re just about reaching the criteria to meet z-list status.

As one comic wannabe on Twitter pointed at the weekend, perhaps one day there will be a celebrity version of I’m A Celeb.

- What a fantastic fundraising spectacular Children in Need is.

Folk the length and breadth of this great country once again putting their hands into their pockets to help make the lives of others less fortunate so much better.

But what does leave a nasty taste in the mouth are celebrities caught up in the recent Paradise papers for tax avoidance pleading with us all to spare our hard-earned cash.

Couldn’t the BBC have found more appropriate individuals to make a heartfelt appeal for donations on its behalf?