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Chaving a laugh; THE WISE MAN OF TV.

Byline: Jon Wise

BIG Fat Gypsy Weddings where one guest said of the bride's cat-inspired wedding frock: "What she wore today won't be forgotten."

Neither will the Sinclair C5, Eldorado or hedgehog flavour crisps, but that doesn't mean it's a good thing.

Back for another series - and still just as amusing/shocking as before - BFGW had more tack than a C4 Coach Trip. With dresses that looked like they'd been bought from Walford market and Dancing On Ice's entire hairspray budget gone in one sitting, the brides set to work.

Even the youngsters getting ready for their communions put in more effort than a TOWIE pampering session.

"From a very young age they like to look nice," said a voiceover.

Nice? If you call a preteen having a spray tan that would make Pip Schofield look like Marilyn Manson nice.

And then there was Gussie, a 13-year-old boy with the confidence of Ryan Giggs.

"He takes great pride in his appearance," we were told. But didn't have much pride in public property as we saw him spitting on the street on the way to get his highlights redone.

On his appeal to the ladies, Gussie said: "I'm handsome, good-looking, cute. I'd go on for ages but I just can't be a***d.

"I have so many ladies already. About 100 and something all over the place. I've lost count. To all the girls out there, if you are ever in Coventry don't be afraid to chat to me, to ask me out..." to stay well clear.

But the real stars of this opening episode were 16-year-old Irish traveller and beauty pageant contestant Sammy Jo for whom boys are completely off-limits (as are wellfitting clothes).

"Some people say you get cancer off a sunbed - I've never met one traveller girl who has cancer," she said.

"I might get cancer but at least I will look good, hey?"

Because that is rational thinking.

And Delores, who had her wedding dress designed to look like a cat while her party dresses were shaped like a pineapple and a palm tree. "My dress is going to be made to look like a pineapple because it's like Spanish and a big pineapple for my hair, like Spanish." If you say so.

They looked more like extras from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert to me.

What makes this programme still fascinating is the mixed messages - the gypsy community have such high morals when it comes to sex and boyfriends. Sammy Jo isn't even allowed a phone in case she talks to boys. And short skirts that leave nothing to the imagination are fine as long as shorts are worn underneath because "it's not provocative, it's just nice".

Of course it is.

Big Fat Gypsy Weddings is one reality show that aisle definitely not be missing out on.


PURRFECT DAY: Bride Dolores in her cat dress
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion, Column
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Feb 19, 2012
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