Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Getting Rich in the Recession: the Man Who Buys Anything

Getting Rich in the Recession: the Man Who Buys Anything

Thu Dec 5, 9-10pm, C4

By Phil Harrison |
Advertising
Getting Rich in the Recession: the Man Who Buys Anything
Steve Elwis is, by his own admission, ‘happy to gain from other people’s misfortune’. This may not make him a nice man, but it at least makes him an honest one. Elwis’s company, Virrgo, is the ultimate bottom-feeder, reconstituting the discernment of the specialist small retailer into the pile-it-high, sell-it-cheap free-for-all of the pound shop.

It’s the conduit through which the shitty detritus of late capitalism makes its way into the gutter. And Elwis can afford his candour: his array of squidgy toys, art and craft tat, cheap glassware, cookery books and England flags has made him a rich man. This documentary is often queasy viewing; Elwis, by definition, profits from the failures and disappointments of others and watching him make his derisory offers for the physical remains of various crumbled dreams is pretty soul-destroying.

But then, that’s modern, free-market economics: more losers than winners, banality triumphing over idealism and the race to the bottom becoming the only game in town. Not cheerful viewing then, but sometimes the truth hurts.

You may also like

    Snap up exclusive discounts in London

    Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...

    Advertising