How stingy was Stephen Merchant’s father? – The Graham Norton Show – BBC One
Now Stephen, your father –
he tried to teach you fiscal responsibility
when you were growing up, I believe. Is he an accountant?
Well, that’s a generous way of putting it. My father is,
I think the politically correct term is, stingy.
Frugal. Frugal? It’s actually funny, talking about
your mother reprimanding you in that way, it felt like
sometimes we were the adults. Like one time I remember
we were at Flambards, the aerial theme park.
I was very young and I found a camera under a bench.
You know, a nice family camera. Took it to my dad and I said, dad,
I’ve found this camera – we should hand it in.
And he went, no, we shouldn’t. You know the law of the land:
Finders keepers, losers weepers. And we used that camera for five years!
It was the family camera. This was before digital so we couldn’t
download what was on there. This other poor family…
just ripped that film out – that was gone! We used that for five years and then
I remember we went on holiday in Greece And I left it in a restaurant.
And we went back and it was gone. And the first thing my dad said,
“Thieving bastards!” And in his mind, he hadn’t grown up
with much money and so, where you could cut corners, or thieve, clearly…
I remember one time, we were young again… Does your dad watch this show?
He doesn’t have a TV. Can’t afford a TV. Watches through the neighbour’s window.
He won’t be able to hear the sound. I remember once my sister was very young and
she was losing a lot of her teeth and putting them under the pillow, and getting money from
the tooth fairy. And one time she came down and we were all there and she said, “Dad,
why is it that when I put a tooth under the pillow, I only get 50p, when all my friends
get a pound from the tooth fairy?” And my dad, quick as a flash, looked at my mum and
said, “‘Cos all the other tooth fairies have wives that work.” Amazing.