The Secret Millionaire

I’ve been watching this show on Channel 4 for a while now.  Something keeps bugging me about it though and that’s how much money they give away.

If you haven’t seen the show, the premise is that a millionaire agrees to go undercover in a local area on the pretense that they are making a show about voluntary workers moving into the area.  Nobody knows they are wealthy and the millionaire lives off benefits for a week.  Said millionaire finds voluntary work and finds worthy causes or people to give money to.  In the big reveal at the end they decide which people/organisations to help and how much money to give them.

I think it’s great that the millionaires do this and are willing to give their money away.  They do make a big difference to most of the people and places they help out – refurbishing community centres etc – I’ve been close to a tear once or twice *strikes manly pose and pretends I have dust in my eye* .  However, some of the millionaires do seem a bit tight.

Millionaire: “I’m not really who I say I am.  I’m actually a very successful businessman worth millions

Person: “Oh. My. God. I had no idea” with a look of shock and glee on their face.  They have already bought a new house and sports car in their head.

Millionaire: “So, I want to give you this cheque for two thousand pounds to help you out”

Person: “aww thanks”

Two thousand….that’s it?  You’re worth millions and you’re giving me two thousand.  Tight git.

Whilst I’d be more than happy with a gift of two thousand to help me in whatever it was they were giving me money for, I’d be gutted if i only got 2k off them!  It’s small change to a millionaire, why not round it off to 5k?  Pay someones rent for a year or pay their mortgage off or something.  Surely, rather than making a difference to people, they are wealthy enough to be make a BIG difference.

Don’t get me wrong, my cap is doffed to each and everyone of them that give their own money out.  Some of the millionaires do go the extra yard and give over and above what they planned to as well.  Others just seem dead tight*.

I’m an ungrateful cynical bastard though!

*he says as he waits for a visit from a millionaire and pondering about having beans on toast for dinner tonight.


7 thoughts on “The Secret Millionaire

  1. Sadly I suspect this is like most other shows and manipulated to give the TV producers the affect they are after. Fortunately getting a hand out for free rarely helps people, they should do a follow up showing how the money was wasted away.

    I’m With you on the Faceless-book front, I guess I’m to old for it but I just don’t get the concept. Besides I only know about two people who use it and they keep having ago for not posting messages for them. I ended up with a Faceless-book account after one of them created one for me, using my Work email. Not something my firm is particularly happy about, it took me hours to strip out all references to them. Aaarrrggghhhh I might not like work but is does pay for living…..

  2. That’s why in Japan they have those whacked-out game shows. The Japanese feel you must EARN the money somehow.

    I’d take the two thousand and RUN!

  3. Gosh, 2 comments in one day!

    I watched it last night and also got annoyed by his minimalistic approach to do-gooding. I could understand what he was saying about not wanting to throw money at something unsustainable etc. and I liked the ending which showed he’d gone back and continued to support them, but that £2000 was ridiculous!
    The most he gave was £30k wasn’t it? And that was just 2 people’s wages for the next year because, after he’d broadcast they’d do it voluntarily if the council withdrew funds, let’s face it, the council are now going to just let them get on with it unpaid!

    And I couldn’t help being the cynic and wondering how long it would be before that laptop was nicked…

  4. BlackLOG – you’re new, hi! They should follow it up a bit more than they do. In the very quick follow up they do some of them have used the money well, others it doesn’t show…wonder why!

    S.Le – Them game shows are fantastic. Many an hour has been spent slumped watching them.

    Rosie – hello, 2 comments…I’m flattered 🙂
    They all look at it as a business proposition with a ‘what’s in it for me’ mentality. Why not just give them money and forget about it. Grrrrr! That boxing gym as well…he bought new gloves and bags for it etc, but again, why not refurbish the whole place. New kit can’t have cost that much. I see he conveniently managed to plaster his companies name on the wall though!

    You’re nearly as cynical as me, I agree though…that laptop will have either been stolen or sold on ebay by now!

  5. Hey Cynical,

    Thanks for leaving a message, it is very reassuring to hear that someone else is actually reading my tent based ramblings and I am glad that you are enjoying. Life is very easy at the moment but I am sure that the winter months will see me returned to my usual ranting, hot headed self. As for the secret millionaire, no idea. I don’t have a TV any more. Sorry!


  6. Thanks for taking the time to respond with a warm welcome.

    I Like the site and it’s nice that you have followers who like to comment. I’m not sure if I just attract Voyeuristic readers or my content is to dull for comment. I cling to the belief that it is the former.

  7. on the american version they tend to give more, but even 50K sounds small right after they say things like “i’m a world famous artist, a multi-millionaire, and i’d like to give you a gift.”maybe we’re being too hard on these millionaires, though… i’m sure they’re hit up for more any time they give can’t win… but it’s still a nice show. 🙂

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