Channel 4 plans spin-off series based on Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Channel 4 commissioners are under pressure to find a show to fill the huge gap in scheduling left by

The axing of popular reality show Big Brother in September 2010, after ten years on air, has freed up tens of millions of pounds to spend on other shows.

Commissioners are keen to build on the "astonishing success" of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, which has attracted more than 8 million viewers with its controversial depiction of lavish wedding ceremonies and dating rituals where men physically "grab" young women.

This is the broadcaster's biggest ratings success since 2007's series of Big Brother.

Ideas for follow-up shows include My Big Fat Gypsy Funeral and My Big Fat Gypsy Birthday.

However, commissioning will not be simple.

Some of the participants are not happy with how they have been portrayed and there have been complaints from the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain (ITMB).

The ITMB said the Traveller community was "extremely disappointed and angry" over the narrow portrayal of their way of life, describing the show as a "sensationalist bid for ratings".

Channel 4 have stood by the programme, saying it "attempted to provide a balanced view".

The current series ended last Tuesday but fans can look forward to the Christmas special, which has been ordered and is likely to be called My Big Fat Gypsy Christmas.