Thanks to Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, travellers have become the new hot topic. If anyone doubts their popularity, Channel 4 will happily walk you through the viewing figures for each episode of their hit documentary, wide smiles across their faces. And ‘Weddings’ star Paddy Doherty‘s Celebrity Big Brother win should clue you in even more.
But with the new series of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings not due until next year, what are the millions of fans to do for their gypsy fix in the interim? Well, Beehive City has a few possibilities from what has become a very popular sub-genre:
Big Fat Gypsy Gangster
Following a 16-year stint at Her Majesty’s pleasure, Bulla, Britain’s hardest man is out of the can and back on the London streets, with an Anglophile American documentary film-maker in tow. Big Fat Gypsy Gangster is Bulla’s gritty, streetwise, hilarious tale of hard-won freedom and attempts to get back the crime empire that’s rightfully his. Problem is, some people have other ideas.
Described as Snatch meets This Is Spinal Tap, this cult gritty British crime/comedy film features the formidable comedic acting talents of Ricky Grover (as Bulla – the character who first appeared on The 11 O’Clock Show), Omid Djalili, Peter Capaldi, Rufus Hound and Steven Berkoff – with a debut film role for N-Dubz and X-Factor’s Tulisa.
Out now on DVD. Check out the trailer below:
For those who like a bit more realism with their travellers, it doesn’t get much more real than Knuckle. Twelve years in the making, this searing documentary explores the blood feuds between different Irish traveller families and pulls no punches showing their bloody culminations – barefist boxing matches that can last for hours. The main focus, James Quinn McDonagh could be described as a ‘real-life Paddy Doherty’ now that Paddy is more at home on the red carpet…
Available on DVD, Knuckle was reviewed previously here.
Newspapers / TV News
Once the reserve of the Daily Mail, travellers have become major news stories over the summer. The Dale Farm debacle may be the current topic of choice for most media outlets, but The Times has uncovered some very interesting and disturbing news about human trafficking and slavery concerning sections of the traveller community.
If the dark side of the travelling community holds no appeal, fear not – the tabloids have all your favourite Big Fat Gypsy stars covered every day of the week. Rumour has it that the paparazzi follow Doherty 24 hours a day, just at a distance of a quarter mile, for their own protection…
UPDATE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings: The Book
The good people at publishers Hodder & Stoughton have let it be known that the book of the hit show is available in bookstores today (29th September). Featuring all many of the show’s main characters, the book picks up where the cameras left off and speaks to the married couples after the parties. Introducing a raft of new characters and new stories, the hardback covers all the rite-of-passage events in a gypsy or traveller’s life, offering insight on values, education, marriage, sex, money, violence and the role of women.
We meet Paddy’s youngest son and catch up with Thelma the dressmaker as the book goes deeper into traveller life. Illustrated with many new and original photographs, the hardback is available from all good booksellers for £16.99.
Hopefully that’ll tide you over, but if you’ve got any other tips, let us know…