When he gets to the supermarket, he likes to buy own-brand goods, which he thinks are just as good as the big-name brands - and considerably cheaper. His wife, Diane, said this is not so - Heinz beans are far superior to supermarket beans. Mr Clarke says this is rubbish - he knows, because he has served up supermarket-brand beans to her without her noticing the difference (he had previously saved up Heinz cans to lend verisimilitude to his deception).
Mr Clarke's economies do not end at the shops. At weekends he works as a steward at football matches, where he likes to collect up the toilet rolls people have thrown at him, tear off the mucky bit and take them home for use. According to his train-driver colleagues, he regularly takes away a Thermos full of hot water at the end of the day to save boiling a kettle at home. On holiday, he sends his children off to dig in the sand for ice-cream money.
Mr Clarke does have a generous side, though: he once hired a bouncy castle for a children's party. He then charged other children on the street for having a go on it.
It may not surprise you to learn that Mr Clarke comes from Yorkshire.
The really odd thing about Mr Clarke was not the sheer extravagance of his tightfistedness, the Marianas Trench depth of his pockets: it was how little he was interested in having money. He didn't seem that interested in getting more of the stuff - he wasn't taking on extra jobs or investing the cash he had. The joy, for him, was all in the scrimping.
Likewise, Tracey Owen never thought too much about cash as she ran up pounds 30,000 of debts through shopping and cosmetic surgery. She borrowed pounds 2,900 to have breast implants a couple of years ago and couldn't repay it, but thought it was unlikely that anybody would try to repossess the goods. Discussing her financial situation, she said: "It doesn't worry me that much," which was fairly obvious. She grinned hazily as she talked of the irresponsibility of the people who lend money ("They shouldn't let you have that much really, should they?"), and blamed her habits on unhappy school days and on Jason, her boyfriend, who let her get away with it. A voiceover noted that the couple had since split up.
The first part of Money Money Money didn't have much in the way of philosophical pretension, but it did show that money is rarely the root of evil, but more often simply an excuse or an outlet for it. That's a lesson worth paying for.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Doctor Who film will definitely happen, leaked Sony emails reveal
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
Glastonbury 2015 tickets: How to make sure you’re successful in Sunday's re-sale
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling