Controversial and popular in equal measure, this show regularly hits the headlines by casting a light on the gypsy culture of the UK.
The revealing documentaries focus on weddings within the community, as they tend to be extravagant, colourful and enlightening. Young gypsies are shown in a positive light as they prepare for their big day.
The programme has triggered a huge number of spin-off programmes by the My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding makers, as well as copycat versions on rival channels, but the original show remains popular by revealing in a warm way what has been a secret way of life of gypsies in Britain.
My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding also highlights the differences in gender roles within the community, education and why getting married young is deemed a good move for gypsy women.
Most of the programmes feature several weddings and focus on the bride’s extravagant and expensive dresses, as well as those for the bridesmaids, and on the work of the dressmakers, particularly Thelma Madine, who explains the culture and expectations of gypsy girls.
The programme also looks at the first big dressing up event for girls, their First Holy Communion at the age of eight, for which parents are prepared to shell out large amounts of cash on an impressive dress.
Most of the gypsies featured come from the Irish Traveller families in the UK but there are also British gypsies featured.
My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding began as a one-off documentary which won several awards and Channel 4 quickly commissioned a series.
A second series followed and the programme makers say they will produce more documentaries.
The shows are available to watch again on 4oD – with Channel 4 also producing several exclusive mini-episodes for their on-demand.
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