Big Fat Gypsy stitch up: Teen slams dressmaker Thelma Madine's spin-off programme for creating a 'freak show' that made them look 'tarty and stupid'
11:37 GMT, 20 July 2012
As the gypsy wedding dresses became bigger and more audacious, so did Thelma Madine's fame.
The dressmaking extraordinaire hit our screens as the no-nonsense Liverpudlian who famed herself for making, what she describes as 'the blingiest dresses in existence.'
Since then she has released her autobiography and now has her own show, but things aren't going quite to plan.
Watch the feathers fly: Thelma hires traveller girls to help on her new show
In the new show, titled 'Thelma's Gypsy Girls', she embarks on an ambitious project to
recruit extra workers from the travelling community – most of whom had never worked a day
in their lives, and some of whom had left school at the age of 11 – and
train them as seamstresses.
mother-of-two Thelma set about to harness the young girls' creativity
and teach them new skills, one young star has slammed the show for
portraying the traveller girls as 'tarty and stupid.'
Seamstress: Although Thelma set out to teach the girls new skills, they have slammed the show
The bigger the better: The show is famed for it's incredibly lavish wedding dresses
Speaking to The Sun, 17-year-old Bridget Deadman said: 'Thelma wasn't interested in teaching us anything. It was just a freak show which made us look violent, tarty and stupid.
'At times it was like being on Jeremy Kyle.'
Bridget, from Widnes, Cheshire, spoke out about how the cameras persevered to convey the stereotypical 'gypsy' image and ignored anything that didn't fit that brand.
Bridget, who gained seven A grades in her GCSE's and won a place at college, was shocked to hear Thelma speak in such a patronising manner about the girl's education, believing that none of them could read or write.
Freak show: The girls said Thelma and the crew made the show out to be like the Jeremy Kyle show
'The crew were determined to make us look wild. The whole thing was disgusting. We trusted Thelma to help us learn a skill,' said Bridget, who had to sit in on a class with girls learning to read and write simply to fill numbers for filming.
Channel 4, who air the show, hit back at the claims and refuted any allegations that the show was constructed.
'The series is a fair and accurate reflection of what the programme makers experienced during filming and we refute any allegation that the show was constructed or exploitative.
'The girls who stuck with Thelma's course have said that it has been a life-changing experience for them and their families,' a spokesperson for the broadcaster said.