After last year’s epic rant, has he finally got into the Christmas spirit?
Back in 2017, Confidential’s publisher Gordo went on a big rant about Manchester Christmas Markets and why he thought they were rubbish. Some readers agreed that they were a right rip-off with trinkets landed in their container load from China or sub-par beer and sausages from the continent. Others thought he was a right miserable old bah-humbugger overlooking the wider economic benefits.
Last year, Gordo decided to film his annual festive rant. He must have hit a nerve because it got almost 212K views on YouTube and many more from across our social channels. For weeks afterwards people were stopping him on the street, slapping him on the back and saying things like, ‘ey Gordo, we bloody loved that Christmas market video you did. You tell them!’
We even finally seemed to rally some other Manchester publications into changing tack. This year, instead of spewing out their usual 'happy, happy, joy, joy Christmas markets are great' nonsense, some of them were finally inspired into asking whether Manchester really does benefit from the Christmas markets.
According to Manchester City Council, up to nine million people visit Manchester Christmas Markets (er, that's 13% of the UK population) each year, contributing £90m to the local economy, plus a juicy wedge into the council coffers through pitch fees. The markets have now spread even further across Manchester spanning a whopping ten different sites including the already impenetrable Market Street, Cathedral Square, King Street and Piccadilly Gardens.
However, the markets' detractors, including Gordo, argue that the concentration of spend in the markets with traders from outside Manchester damage local businesses at a crucial time in the year.
Well, The Queen does a speech every Christmas, so we thought we may as well wrap Gordo up nice and warm and send him out across the City Centre again to see if this year, he might get into the spirit and change his mind. What do you reckon?
If you can face this sort of stuff all year round, follow @GordoManchester on Twitter.