By COLIN ROBERTSON, TV Editor
This article is very revealing IN MANY WAYS.
2 APRIL 2011
FURIOUS travellers ambushed a discussion about Big Fat Gypsy Weddings to tell the producers it ruined their lives.
One mum told the TV panel her daughter was attacked after the six-part Channel 4 show.
Others shouted "lies" when producers claimed the gypsy community had mainly been happy with the series.
Some audience members feared there would be a RIOT. One said: "I feared it was all going to kick off as tensions were running high."
Bosses were stunned at the event in London held by the Royal Television Society. It was aimed at TV insiders but travellers got wind of it and sat at the back. As the panel took questions, one yelled: "We're just funny little characters to you aren't we?"
Another, Dee Cooper, said traveller kids had suffered racist attacks at school since the show and added it was unfair to brand them uneducated.
She fumed: "My son is 14 and is in the top four academically in his year, he has already taken four GCSEs. My daughter is about to go into sixth form. Two days after your show she was punched and called a pikey. This has gone on up and down the country."
A video of the encounter shows a film maker being drowned out by jeers as he tries to sympathise.
Mrs Cooper also blasted claims traveller wives suffer domestic violence and youths commonly "grab" girls for a kiss against their will.
She shouted: "I've been married to the same man for 26 years and I was never grabbed, I've never been beaten.
"You should get an overall view. Don't get a small minority that just want to be on the telly."
Gypsy pastor Jackie Boy told producers: "You've made a lot of money but it has brought great shame and fear to my community."
A source said "It was an open forum but no one had expected the gypsy community to know about it." The source added that programme-maker Firecracker calmed things down after "reasoning with the gypsies".
Big Fat Gypsy Weddings pulled in bumper ratings of over eight million viewers earlier in the year. It followed the bizarre and flamboyant weddings held by the gypsy community and looked at their unique courting rituals.