| 11°C Dublin

Prying TV bosses are just exploiting 'Big Fat Gypsy' children

'BIGGER, fatter, gypsier.' It's the promo that Channel 4 is running for their new series of My Big Fat Gypsy wedding.

Perhaps 'Bigger, Fatter, Gypsier And More Exploitative Than Ever Before' might have been more appropriate.

While there's arguably a huge element of snobbery (it appears that most people can't resist the opportunity to feel superior and to mock a minority group's style, way of life and culture), the adults have willingly signed up to let the cameras capture their dresses and drunken antics.

They should know what they're doing, and how it looks and sounds. What's not clear, however, is how a heretofore reputable broadcaster suddenly deems it appropriate to interview and quiz children for the viewers' titillation.

And out of the mouths of these Traveller babes are some of the most provocative quotes.

"They drink and get drunk and go home," said one youngster, who looked less than 10, about the adults at weddings. Any parent will tell you that their children have mortified them with a colourful commentary of what Mammy and Daddy said and did last night. That's kids.

They don't get tone or context or irony because they're children.

They don't get to vote because they're deemed not capable of making a legitimate decision. Yet Channel 4 deems it wholly appropriate to ask prying, snooping questions of children.

What are the guidelines in the UK on interviewing minors on camera?

Surely you can't take it as read, that what a child with a vivid imagination is saying, is entirely accurate? Do they really understand it's a reporter they're talking to? What are the motivations behind their friendly chatter?

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding has become such a slamdunk for station bosses in terms of viewers, that when it comes to children, it's broadcast and be damned ...