Big Fat Gypsy Weddings

Channel 4’s deputy head of factual entertainment – Liam Humphreys has green lit a much anticipated second series of the smash hit documentary series Big Fat Gypsy Weddings.

The first series, which aired earlier this year, averaged 9.1 million viewers and a 29.4% share over the five episodes.

Firecracker Films are in the early stages of production and have been meeting members of the travelling communities including Irish travellers, English Gypsies and Romany Gypsies to research the 6 x 60 minute films which will air in early 2012.

Following the same documentary style, this new series will retain the core elements that made the first so popular – with the spectacular gypsy and traveller celebrations and rite of passage events remaining at the heart of the programmes.

However, each film will also investigate some of the major themes that arose from the first series – in particular looking at issues around work and money, life on the road, the family, health, prejudice, education and the cultural differences and the relationship between the different travelling communities living in the UK.

Tina Flintoff, Channel 4 Factual Entertainment Commissioning Editor said: ‘Big Fat Gypsy Weddings was a phenomenon. It would have been very easy for us to just commission more of the same but we wanted to enhance the series by adding more journalism and offering an even deeper insight into the gypsy and traveller way of life without losing what makes the show accessible – the weddings, christenings and spectacular celebrations.’

The show’s executive producer Jes Wilkins has added: ‘We are excited about the creative challenge of how to follow up such a successful series. We are extremely grateful to all the gypsies and travellers who have opened up their lives to us over the last two years and we look forward to cultivating more relationships going forward.’

The series will feature some familiar faces, including dressmaker Thelma Madine, Irish Traveller Paddy Doherty and some of the brides from the first series but viewers will also meet a number of new families and follow them over a lengthy period in order to get an even greater understanding of gypsy and traveller life in Britain today.

© Courtesy of Channel 4

by entertainmentnews

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced today that Channel 4’s hit reality TV show, ‘Big Fat Gypsy Weddings’ has been nominated for the YouTube Audience Award, given to the most popular programme of the last year at the upcoming Philips British Academy Television Awards.

Also nominated in this category are Downton Abbey, The Killing, Miranda, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, The Only Way is Essex and Sherlock. Past winners include The Inbetweeners(2010), Skins (2009) and Gavin & Stacey (2008).

The YouTube Audience Award is the only Award voted for by the public. It rewards the programmes that have captured audiences’ imaginations and were the most watched, loved and talked about. A panel of entertainment journalists collated the shortlist, which features a variety of genres, including drama, entertainment and comedy.

From Tuesday 19 April until 5pm on Friday 20 May, members of the public will have the opportunity to vote for the YouTube Audience Award at www.youtube.com/baftaonline

Tina Flintoff, Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment at Channel 4 said: “We are absolutely delighted that so many people came to the series and enjoyed it.

“To be nominatedfor this award is the icing on the cake and we hope that fans of the show will vote for us to win. “

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, added: “It is fantastic to see such an eclectic list of programmes nominated for this year’s YouTube Audience Award.

“These programmes have captured the British viewers’ attention and have earned their place on this year’s shortlist.”

Hosted by Graham Norton, the Awards will be held at Grosvenor House, London, on 22 May 2011.

Big Fat Gypsy Weddings – Channel 4/Firecracker Films Big Fat Gypsy Weddings is a visually arresting portrait of the lives of gypsies and travelers in Britain today…

Picking up where the hugely successful Cutting Edge film of the same title left off, the new series follows the extraordinary rite-of-passage events – including weddings, communions and christenings – to offer a window into the world of the gypsy and traveller community.

Each stand-alone episode gives insights into the community’s attitudes toward gender roles, education and outsiders. The series also explores the remarkable rituals, traditions and beliefs held by this minority group.

Warm, intelligent, engrossing and funny, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings tells intimate stories on an epic scale, laying bare an exotic unseen Britain that exists right on our doorstep.

Will you be voting for BFGW? I will be; I love the show!

Courtesy of © Channel 4 Television

9:00pm Sunday, April 17 on

The final film in the series uncovers the prejudice against the travelling community in Britain today.

9:00pm Sunday, April 10 on

While gypsy and traveller women all want to be a princess on their wedding day, the reality in the gypsy community is that on every other day it is man who is King. The fourth episode in this five-part series looks at the testosterone-filled world of the traveller man, where disputes are settled with fists and status conveyed by the car that you drive. Exec Prod: Jes Wilkins; Series Prod: Vicky Hamburger; Prod Co: Firecracker Film

9:00pm Sunday, April 3 on

The third film in the series looks beyond the enormous wedding dresses, sequins and tiaras to unveil the lot of a gypsy woman. Literacy and education are largely deemed unnecessary and domestic abuse is startlingly common; the contrast between the daily life of a gypsy girl and the glitz and glamour of her wedding day is stark. Exec Prod: Jes Wilkins; Series Prod: Vicky Hamburger; Prod Co: Firecracker Film

9:00pm Sunday, March 27 on M4

This episode explores how the travelling community are fighting to preserve their ancient culture and customs and the obstacles they face keeping their traditional way of life alive. Exec Prod: Jes Wilkins; Series Prod: Vicky Hamburger; Prod Co: Firecracker Film

9:00pm Sunday, March 20 on M4

Another chance to see the C4 hit from the beginning. Big Fat Gypsy Weddings paints a visually arresting portrait of the secretive, extravagant and surprising world of gypsies and travellers in Britain today. The first episode looks at milestones in a gypsy girl’s life, en route to the biggest day of her life – her wedding. Exec Prod: Jes Wilkins; Series Prod: Vicky Hamburger; Prod Co: Firecracker Film

9:00pm Tuesday, February 15 on C4

The final film in the series uncovers the prejudice against the travelling community in Britain today. But discrimination is nothing new to the travellers and their seclusion from mainstream society seems to be their only defence. Dressmaker Thelma has to make a dress for a bride who won’t even tell her when the wedding is for fear the venue finds out she’s a traveller and cancels the booking. She’s right to be concerned as another bride, 19-year-old Irish traveller Bridget, has already had her wedding venues cancelled three times.

9:00pm Tuesday, February 8 on C4

While gypsy and traveller women all want to be a princess on their wedding day, the reality in the gypsy community is that on every other day it is man who is king. The fourth episode in the series looks at the testosterone-filled world of the traveller man, where disputes are settled with fists and status conveyed by the car that you drive. Ex-bare-knuckle boxer Paddy – the patriarch of a Salford traveller site – explains the role of a traveller man and crucially how he earns enough to keep his wife Roseanne happy.

9:00pm Tuesday, February 1 on C4

The third film in the series looks beyond the enormous wedding dresses, sequins and tiaras to unveil the lot of a gypsy woman. It’s not all just about having blingtastic nuptials. With literacy and education largely deemed unnecessary and domestic abuse startlingly common, the contrast between the daily life of a gypsy girl and the glitz and glamour of their wedding day is stark. Does it all come down to the Cinderella-style wish to be a Princess just for one day?

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