The show will not return for a third series, but there will be six "gypsy-themed" specials next year

Channel 4 has revealed that it is calling time on Big Fat Gypsy Weddings.

The controversial documentary series, which follows the distinctive marriage rituals of the UK’s travelling community, first ran for five episodes in 2011. It became a major ratings hit for Channel 4, regularly attracting over eight million viewers, and later earned a BAFTA nomination.

A second series of seven episodes aired earlier this year (2012) and Channel 4 has regularly shown festive specials and spin-off documentaries. Big Fat Gypsy Weddings continues to be popular with viewers, but some members of the travelling community have taken issue with how they have been portrayed.

Speaking at the Edinburgh International TV Festival yesterday (August 23), Channel 4 controller Jay Hunt revealed that there are no plans for a third series, although the network will air six “gypsy-themed” specials next year (2013).

Discussing the show’s future, she explained: “I think we’ve quite naturally got to a point where we’ve started to look differently at that franchise. We have already evolved where we are [with it]. It is important to know when to draw the line, and we are close to drawing the line. I think it will come to a point where it is time to move on.”

She also defended accusations that the series has proved harmful to the UK’s travelling community, saying: “It managed to shine a light on a community that most of us haven’t seen. It’s a difficult community to work with.”