HC buys Big Fat Gypsy memoir

HC buys Big Fat Gypsy memoir

HarperCollins has bought the life story of Thelma Madine, the dressmaker from the Channel 4 documentary series “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding”.

World rights were bought by Vicky McGeown, commissioning editor for Harper non-fiction, from Sue Oriel, m.d. at Firecracker Films. The first book, Thelma Madine: Tales of the Gypsy Dressmaker, is Madine’s memoir and will be published on 1st March 2012.

Madine became the breakout star of the 2011 documentary series, making wedding dresses for the travelling community, resplendent in 200-foot trains, hundreds of LED lights or crystals. Madine began selling dresses from a market stall after a messy divorce. She was asked by a traveller to make some dresses like those from “Gone with the Wind” and quickly became a popular dressmaker among the travelling community. A few years later she was given her first request for a wedding dress, which featured a 217-foot train. HC said the book will reveal Madine’s private struggles, from financial meltdown through heartache and a four-month stint in prison.

McGeown said: “For us, she was without a doubt the real standout star from the phenomenally successful ‘Big Fat Gypsy Weddings’. From the moment I met her, I was blown away by the wealth of amazing stories she has to share—she’s truly is going to bring to life a community that has fascinated the nation—and I’m excited to see the reaction when we publish next spring.”

In September, Hodder & Stoughton is publishing the official tie-in to the Channel 4 television series.