60 Days with the Gypsies S01E01 New 2022
The former Army Captain has spent 60 days living on the streets for a documentary, walked the length of the Amazon, and faced dozens of brutal survival challenges – but entering the gypsy community for his latest C4 doc was one of the scariest experiences he’s ever had. He says: “When I think about gypsies there is an element of fear. Rightly or wrongly, gypsies are linked with crime, going outside of the law and it is daunting going into that world.”
Ed was fearful as he prepared to spend 60 days on the road in a caravan, living on the fringes of society. There were some confronting moments – someone defecated on his windscreen, kids showed off knuckle dusters, and used catapults to kill squirrels for dinner. But the 46-year-old had his preconceptions smashed during filming, discovering ancient culture, with multi-generational families living in the great outdoors and simply struggling to survive against an unwelcoming society. At the Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria, the biggest event in the gypsy calendar, one of the women Ed meets, Sherrie, decides to Google him, discovering that his birth name, Lovell, is a common gypsy name. “Welcome to the family!” she declares, leaving Ed stunned. The dad-of-three, who lives in Leicestershire with explorer wife Laura Bingham, says: “She just had an instinct that I was a gypsy. I was really interested because I had felt quite a connection to the community. “Suddenly, when I recognized that there was a possibility that I did have ancestral gypsy blood, I decided that it was a good thing to look into. The production team found an ancestry gypsy lady to dig into my history and find out where there was any truth in this. “She came in and quite theatrically gave me my family tree, revealing that my four-times great grandfather Anthony Lovell and his wife Jane Light, who married in 1833, were both from Romani gypsy families. “The moment I found out it made me smile, it gave me almost a sense of pride. I am adopted and that was a little door that was unlocked in terms of unlocking my past.
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