Big Fat Gypsy Weddings

Series 2 - 3. School of Hard Knocks

School of Hard Knocks
Radio Times
Review by:
Jane Rackham

Right from birth, life is pretty well mapped out for traveller children. Girls stop going to school around the age of 11 (it’s shameful to continue, explains one mother), spend the next few years learning to clean and care for children, and then get married around 16 or 17. Boys stop school early, too, but don’t do cleaning (that’s considered “gay” says another mum). Instead they work alongside their dads. Kids as young as seven can handle a digger truck as well as the next man.

So it’s probably no wonder that traveller girls look forward to any occasion that calls for dressing up in a mega-frock and bling.

Cassa reckons it was worth going to school just so she could attend the school prom looking, as one friend says, like “a bouncy castle on legs”; Santana, meanwhile, is excited about her Sweet 16 party, partly for the dress but also for the 12ft-high cake decorated with fireworks. Then it’s back to the cleaning.

About this programme

3/7. The lives of four traveller girls who have had differing experiences of mainstream education. Twelve-year-old Alice works at her dad's horse fair alongside her seven-year-old brother Mikey rather than going to school, while Santana spends much of her time cleaning her family's chalet - but is excitedly planning a lavish 16th birthday party, which is set to feature a 15-tiered cake. Alice's best friend Angel has chosen to stay on at school and study for her GCSEs, but her decision to continue her education is made more difficult by the racial abuse she receives from her fellow pupils. Elsewhere, 16-year-old Cassa gets ready for her school prom, and hopes to make a splash with a Barbie-inspired dress.

Cast and crew


Arron Fellows
Executive Producer
Mark Soldinger
Executive Producer
Jes Wilkins
Arron Fellows
Series Producer
Laurence Turnbull

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