Here Come The Gypsies under fire from furious fans who complain to Ofcom that show is 'offensive to travellers'

HERE Come The Gypsies has come under fire from furious fans who complained to Ofcom that the show is "offensive to travellers".

The Channel 5 series delves into the ancient traditions and culture of Britain's Gypsies and Travellers.

The broadcast regulator received 50 complaints about the show that aired on Wednesday 14th April.

Ofcom told The Sun that 45 complaints stated that: "The programme was viewed offensive / amounted to an inaccurate portrayal of the Traveller community".

A further five complaints alleged "cruelty to horses" on the show.

The four-part show follows members of the Romany Gypsy community in Cardiff, Darlington and Surrey, as well as covering the annual Durham Horse Fair, which sees thousands of Gypsies from all over the UK gather to trade and socialise.

The first episode showed a fight that was the brainchild of champion cage fighter Tony ‘the Rhino’ Giles, who has become a ‘Fair Play Man’ for the Gypsy community in the South East, sorting out disputes and mediating between families.

Tony, 36, has been a mixed martial arts pro for 12 years and the first Gypsy to win a world title, and he says the culture encourages kids to fight.

“It’s in our blood, in our genes, fighting. You get brought up from an early age to protect yourself,” he says.

“In the Gypsy community, money comes second to fighting and honour. You’re a lot more respected being the roughest Gypsy than the richest.”

The show also follows Welsh horse trader Jim ‘Beb Price, who says a crackdown on horse fairs by local councils has hit his business hard.

He organises a horse drive – which sees over 80 carriages racing up the main roads and stopping at pubs to trade.

“Like people look forward to Christmas and birthdays we look forward to horse drives,” he says. “We get drunk and anything goes.”

The series highlights the fight to keep Gypsy traditions alive amid growing hostility in the UK, and also reveals the close family bonds that travelling communities have, with parents, children and grandchildren all living and working together.

  • Here Come the Gypsies airs on Channel 5 on Wednesday at 9pm

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